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Edited with an Introduction 


Barrister-at-Law of the Middle Temple, 
and of the Northern Circuit 


14 Henrietta Street Covent Garden 


Printed in Great Britain by 

Xbc Camelot Press Ltd., London and Southampton 


The time which has elapsed since the appeal of 
William Herbert Wallace against his conviction and 
sentence has in some ways lightened, and in some ways 
made more difficult, the task of editing the material avail- 
able for a book on the trial. The judgment of the Court 
of Criminal Appeal, which, for the first time, quashed 
a conviction for murder on the ground that the verdict 
could not be supported by the evidence, placed the 
Wallace case in a class of its own. It not only established 
a precedent ; it also created a new status for an individual 
in his relation to society. By the decision of the Court, 
Wallace recovered his freedom, but he remained the man 
who had been sentenced to death on the verdict of his 
fellow countrymen. His position was obviously very 
different from that of a person who has been acquitted 
on the evidence at the conclusion of a trial. 

The implications of such a result as that which followed 
the Wallace trial are far-reaching, and raise questions of 
considerable importance from the legal, social, and even 
individual point of view. It follows that the story of the 
crime, and the life and character of the person who was 
tried, found guilty, and sentenced for the murder of Julia 
Wallace, possess a unique and additional value, and are 
calculated to evoke something more than a mere passing 
or impersonal curiosity. The remarkable sequel has 
invited, if it has not compelled, a more general treatment 
than is usually considered necessary in less complicated 
cases. In such circumstances it appeared unnecessary to 


editor’s note 

restrict oneself exclusively to the trial and appeal, as that 
would have limited the field of investigation, and involved 
the rejection of some interesting and helpful material. It 
is for these reasons, and also for their relevance to the 
case itself, that extracts from the diaries and from articles 
written by Wallace have been included in the present 

It was inevitable that much of the evidence given at 
the trial should be of a repetitive nature, or of such topo- 
graphical or scientific quality as to be of little interest or 
assistance either to the lawyer or to the general reader. 
I have, therefore, eliminated certain parts of the evidence, 
but always, I hope, with discretion and fairness ; and I 
have endeavoured to omit nothing of importance or 
significance, or which could contribute in any degree to 
an understanding of the case. 

I very much regret that I found it impossible to obtain 
a verbatim copy of Mr. Roland Oliver’s opening speech 
for the Defence. I take this opportunity of thanking the 
editor of the Liverpool Post and Mercury for his courtesy in 
permitting me to include a report of the speech which 
appeared in that newspaper at the time of the trial. 

I am very grateful for much valuable information and 
assistance to Mr. Hector Munro, of Messrs. Herbert J. 
Davis, Berthen & Munro, solicitors, of Liverpool, who 
were instructed for the Defence. 

I wish also to express my thanks to the following : The 
Assistant Chief Constable of Liverpool for his consent to 
the reproduction of a photograph of 29 Wolverton Street ; 
the editor of John Bull for allowing me to quote from 
articles published in that journal ; and to Messrs. Barnett 
Lenton & Company for permission to use the official 
shorthand notes of the trial. 

W. F. Wyndham-Brown. 




1 . Introduction — 

page II 

The Mysterious Murder 


The Character of Wallace 


The Time of Death and the Alibi 


Circumstantial Evidence 


The Telephone Message 


The Mackintosh Theory 


The Case of Courvoisier 


Conflicting Evidence 


The Summing-Up and the Verdict 


The Appeal 


II. The Trial— 




Indictment and Plea 


Opening Speech for the Crown 


Evidence for the Prosecution 

Leslie Heaton 


Arthur Thompson 


Lillian Martha Kelly 


Katie Mather 


Gladys Harley 


Sydney Hubert Green 


Samuel Beattie 


Police-Constable James Edward 

James Caird 




James Edward Rothwell 


Lily Pinches 


Alan Groxton Close 


Joseph Crewe 


Thomas Charles Phillips 


Lily Hall 




John Sharpe Johnston 


Professor John Edward Wheatley 

Florence Sarah Johnston 



Frederick Robert Williams 


Dr. Hugh Pierce 


Jane Sarah Draper 


William Henry Roberts 


James Sarginson 


Detective-Superintendent Hugh 



Third Day 

Detective-Sergeant Harry Bailey 157 

Detective-Inspector Herbert Gold 158 


Opening Speech for the Defence page 162 

Evidence for the Defence 

William Herbert Wallace 


Kenneth Campbell Caird 


Professor James Edward Dible 


David Jones 


Dr. Robert Coope 


Louisa Harrison 


Allison Wildman 


Amy Lawrence 


Douglas Metcalfe 


Margaret Martin 


Fourth Day 

Closing Speech for the Defence 233 

Closing Speech for the Crown 248 

Summing-up 268 

The Verdict 290 

Sentence 290 

III. The Appeal 291 

IV. Extracts from the Diary and other Writings of William 

Herbert Wallace 295 

{a) from Wallace’s Life Story 298 

{b) from Wallace’s Diary 300 

{c) from the Diary and Life Story 301 

{d) from Articles by Wallace which appeared in the Press 309 



1 William Herbert Wallace Frontispiece 

2 The call-box from which the message was 

telephoned to the City Cafe facing page 54 

3 A copy of the notice referring to the Chess 

Competition 88 

4 29 Wolverton Street, Liverpool 160 


The Mysterious Murder 

The Character of Wallace 

The Time of Death and the Alibi 

Circumstantial Evidence 

The Telephone Message 

The Mackintosh Theory 

The Case of Courvoisier 

Conflicting Evidence 

The Summing-up and the Verdict 

The Appeal 



The murder of Mrs. Julia Wallace at her house in 
Liverpool on the evening of January 20th5 1931, has been 
described by various authorities as follows ; “ The greatest 
murder mystery of the century ’’ — One of the most 
baffling murders in human history ” — “ One of the most 
diabolically ingenious murder mysteries of modern times.’’ 
Mr. Justice Wright, who presided at the trial of William 
Herbert Wallace at the Liverpool Assizes, expressed the 
opinion in his summing-up that it was “ almost unex- 
ampled in the annals of crime.” In view of these state- 
ments it may be relevant at the commencement of this 
introduction to observe that the actual crime, although 
one of the utmost brutality, was not one which, in itself, 
involved on the part of the murderer any high degree of 
either subtlety or originality. Within recent years several 
murders have been committed, each of which has revealed, 
in the means employed to cause death, both greater imagi- 
nation and ingenuity than are to be found in the Wallace 
case. It is the circumstances which surround the death of 
Mrs. Wallace, the character of the people concerned, 
the absence of apparent motive, and the masterly and 
inexplicable activities of her assailant on the night of the 
crime which make the trial of Wallace one of the most 
interesting and dramatic in criminal history. 

Before proceeding to a more detailed consideration of 
the case, it may prove helpful to state in brief outline a few 
of the admitted facts which bear on the tragedy. 



William Herbert Wallace, an agent of the Prudential 
Assurance Company, had been married to his wife, Julia, 
for over eighteen years at the time of the murder, and they 
had lived together at 29 Wolverton Street, Liverpool, for 
sixteen years. There was no evidence that they quarrelled, 
or, even, disagreed, and, indeed, both from the diary kept 
by Wallace for several years, and from the statements of 
friends and neighbours, it appeared that their life together 
was one of peace and mutual contentment. Wallace, 
himself, when asked in the witness-box, ‘‘ What were your 
relations with your wife ? ’’ replied, “ What I should 
describe as perfect.” 

On the evening of January igth, Wallace was due at the 
City Cafe to attend a meeting of the Liverpool Central 
Chess Club, and to play a match with a fellow-member, 
according to the list of fixtures, for a competition which 
was called the Second Class Championship. The board 
referring to this competition was situated in a conspicuous 
position near the door of the caft. On that evening, shortly 
after seven o’clock, a telephone message was received at 
the caf(6 for Wallace, from someone who called himself 
“ Qualtrough,” and it was taken down in writing by Mr. 
Samuel Beattie, the captain of the club. The voice which 
delivered the message was described by a waitress of the 
caf6 as ‘‘just an ordinary voice — a man’s voice,” and by 
Mr. Beattie, who had known Wallace for a number of 
years, as “ a strong voice, a rather gruff voice.” He 
replied, when asked at the trial if the voice was anything 
like that of Wallace, “ Certainly not.” In view of the case 
for the Crown that “ Qualtrough ” did not exist, and that 
Wallace himself had telephoned the message in a disguised 
voice, this evidence was of considerable importance. 

It was about half an hour later when Mr. Beattie saw 
that Wallace had arrived, and had commenced a game of 
chess. He approached him, and gave him the information 



that a man named Qualtrough had telephoned and left 
a message that he wished to see him the following evening, 
at 25 Menlove Gardens East, at 7.30 about ‘‘ something 
in the nature of your business.” Wallace replied, “ Qual- 
trough ? Qualtrough ? Who is Qualtrough ? I don’t know 
the chap. Where is Menlove Gardens East ? Is it Menlove 
Avenue ? ” and, after some further discussion, he entered 
the name and address in his pocket diary — emphasising 
the word east in block letters — and proceeded, after 
a contest which lasted until after ten o’clock, to beat his 

The following day, January 20th, Wallace was engaged 
on the work of his company, and, according to his evi- 
dence, returned to his home a little after six o’clock. It was 
admitted by the prosecution that if Wallace committed 
the murder it must have been between 6.30 and about 
6.50, and it is, therefore, at this point that the question of 
time becomes of considerable importance. We next hear 
of him from a witness for the prosecution, a corporation 
tram conductor, when he boarded a tram-car at the 
junction of Smithdown Road and Lodge Lane between 
7.6 p.m. and 7.10 p.m. on the same evening. In his 
evidence, Wallace stated that he left his house to keep his 
appointment with ‘‘ Qualtrough ” in Menlove Gardens 
EAST at 6.45 p.m., and there is little doubt, in view 
of the independent evidence, that he must have been on 
his way to Lodge Lane at the latest by 6.50. At the hour 
of 6.30, and possibly even a little later, a boy called Close 
had delivered milk at 29 Wolverton Street, and had seen 
and spoken to Mrs. Wallace, That was the last occasion 
on which she was seen alive. 

The evidence as to Wallace’s movements a little later 
in the Menlove Avenue district of Liverpool is fairly clear. 
He enquired from several people — one of whom was a 
Liverpool police constable — as to the direction of Menlove 



Gardens east, and was told on three occasions that 
there was no such address. The prosecution laid consider- 
able stress on the number of enquiries and personal 
remarks made to these witnesses and to the tram conduc- 
tors as indicating his intention of establishing a pre- 
arranged alibi. It was asked, in particular, why, having 
been informed on two occasions that Menlove Gardens 
East did not exist, he should have taken the trouble to go 
into a newsagent’s shop for the purpose of examining a 
local directory, and to inform the manageress of the shop 
as to the reason of his being in the district. The next wit- 
nesses to speak as to Wallace’s actions on that night were 
two neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. Johnston, who saw him 
close to the back door of 29 Wolverton Street at 8.45 
p.m. Wallace asked them if they had heard anything 
unusual that evening from his house, and they replied 
that they had not. He then said, I have tried the back 
door and the front, and they are locked against me.” It 
was suggested that he should try again, and, in the 
presence of the two witnesses, he then opened the yard 
door, walked up to the door leading into the kitchen, and 
said, “ It opens now,” and went into the house. The 
Johnstons waited outside, and in a few moments Wallace 
returned and said to them, in a voice which Mrs. Johnston 
described as distressed and agitated — Come and see ; 
she has been killed.” 

The Johnstons then accompanied him into the house, 
and in the front sitting-room they found the fully clothed 
body of Mrs. Wallace lying diagonally across the hearth- 
rug, the feet towards the fireplace, and the head towards 
the door. The head had been badly battered in, and it 
was obvious she must have been dead for some time. It 
was clear from the appearance of the body, and the 
amount of blood in the room, that a murder of the greatest 
brutality had been committed. 



On February 2nd, Wallace was arrested and charged 
with the wilful murder of his wife. In answer to the charge, 
he said, “ What can I say in answer to this charge of which 
I am absolutely innocent ? ’’ 


There are certain cases in which the nature of the crime, 
and the personal history and general behaviour of the 
accused, make any further considerations as to character of 
relative unimportance. There are other cases, in particular 
where there is an absence of any apparent motive, and 
when the crime has been premeditated, in which the 
character and temperament of the accused are of the 
greatest interest and significance. One of the many 
remarkable features of the Wallace trial was to be found 
in the contrast provided between the excessive, and, even, 
maniacal violence with which the murder was com- 
mitted, and the evidence which was given by various 
witnesses of the peaceful and good-natured disposition of 
the prisoner. One witness for the prosecution regarded 
him as “ a placid man,” and another as “ an absolute 
gentleman in every respect.” There was no evidence that 
there had ever been any friction or serious disagreement 
between him and his wife. On the contrary, several 
witnesses testified to the happiness and placidity of their 
life together. One witness described them as “ a happy 
couple, a very happy couple,” and another was of the 
opinion that Wallace’s relations with his wife were the 
best possible . . . they appeared to be all in all to one 
another,” and yet a third witness stated that he had always 
regarded them as “a very loving couple, and very 

Wallace, himself, in the diaries he kept for the years 
preceding the murder, refers on many occasions to the 

Bw 17 


affection he feels for his wife, his anxiety concerning her 
health, and to the happiness they experience together.^ 
The following passages may be quoted for the double 
purpose of throwing a light on the character oi Wallace 
and also for their references to his wife : 

March 25thy igsg. “Julia reminds me to-day it was 
fifteen years ago yesterday since we were married. Well, I 
don’t think either of us regrets the step. We seem to have 
pulled well together, and I think we both get as much 
pleasure and contentment out of life as most people.” 

December igth, jgjo. “ On arriving home found that 
Julia had not returned. I waited until nearly i a.m., then 
thinking something surely must have happened went off 
to Anfield Road police station to see if there was any 
report of any accident to hand. None. So went back home 
and found that she had just turned up. It seems that a 
laundry van had been smashed up on the line. ... It 
was a relief to know that she was safe and sound for I 
was getting apprehensive.” 

January yth, igji- “ A night of keen frost. The heavy 
fog caused a wonderful appearance on all the plants and 
trees . . . after dinner persuaded Julia to go into Stanley 
Park, and she was equally charmed.” 

On January 19th, the day before the murder, there is 
an entry in the diary as follows : “ The fateful day on 
which I received the telephone message.” And later he 
refers at length to his feelings on the discovery of the 
murder of his wife, and gives a detailed account of his 
experiences subsequent to his arrest, and when present 
in Court under sentence of death at the hearing of his 

The diary, in general, reveals Wallace as a studious, 

1 See p. 300. This diary was kept by Wallace until April 1932. The 
entries for the period from January i8th, 1931, imtil May i6th were filled 
in later. 



sensitive, and kindly natured man, immediately respon- 
sive to anything which arouses his intellectual curiosity, 
and to some extent in rebellion against his own unpro- 
ductive and uncongenial activities. He appears to have 
seen life steadily and broadly, with a keen and well- 
balanced appreciation of its infinite and adventurous 
variability. Many pages of the diary are concerned with 
the latest scientific and astronomical discoveries, his 
chemical experiments in his own laboratory, musical 
criticism, and his contests at the Chess Club. The number 
of subjects and incidents which receive his laborious and 
well-informed attention is, from several points of view, 
remarkable. It is necessary to say that the diary, in the 
varied and impersonal quality of the great majority of 
the entries, and whether written before the tragic events 
of January 20th or subsequent to the arrest and trial, 
has every indication of being authentic. 

A few entries from the diary, written subsequently to 
Wallace’s trial and appeal, may be quoted without 

January 20th. “ Returned home from the Menlove 
Gardens East journey to find Julia brutally murdered in 
the front room. How can I ever write in these pages the 
agony of mind, that sense of loneliness and darkness 
which followed ? Even now, as I am making this entry on 
June 15th — nearly five months after — my desolation and 
depression are as great as ever. To forget is impossible, 
and I can only hope time may soothe and calm the 
anguish and poignancy of our separation.” 

February 2nd. “ Arrested and charged with the ‘ wilful 
murder of my wife.’ 

And yet I would not willingly have hurt a single hair 

^ See p. 300 for further extracts from the diaries, which are continued 
until April 1932. 



of her dear head. Julia, if you can now know what is 
happening, you know this is very truth, and if it should 
be that you and I meet in the great beyond, we can meet 
each other knowing no wrong has been done between us. 
More and more do I now realise what a noble, unselfish 
partner you have been. More and more, too, do I now 
realise how much you loved me, and that I, too, loved you. 
Too often are our secret thoughts overridden by the 
cares and worries of the daily life, and yet I feel that 
you did know you were dearly loved, and found your 
happiness and contentment in loving and being loved. 
All I have left is the memory of your loving affection for 
me, and of the joy and happiness we shared together.” 

November 25th. I seem unable to concentrate on the 
violin. I think it is because it carries too many poignant 
memories of those happy hours we spent together. Every 
time I handle the pieces of music she loved and played so 
delightfully, memories crowd in upon me until I am 
compelled to put the fiddle down. Music has its delights, 
but it also brings great oceans of sadness, which sometimes 
overwhelms, and brings up torrents of tears for utterly 
hopeless longings. So I must carry on to the end in sadness 
and sorrow.” 

March 31st, 1332. “ Got — book on 

I see I am included in the list of great criminals. 
The thing is too hideous to think about. I, who could not 
have hurt any living thing, I am supposed to have most 
brutally murdered Julia— Julia who was the whole world 
to me, my only companion with whom I could have 
trusted my life. If there is a God in Heaven, why, oh why ! 
Has she solved the great mystery of the beyond, or is it 
utter extinction ? Does she know how I grieve for her, or 
is it the end ? I am tortured by doubts.” 



All the evidence which was given at the trial, and which 
bore directly or indirectly on the life and character of 
Wallace, was emphatically in his favour. Never once 
during his long examination in the witness-box did he 
show any weakness or hesitation, or lose for a moment 
his composure. When the jury, after retiring for an hour, 
brought in a verdict of guilty, he betrayed no emotion, 
and when asked if he had anything to say as to why 
sentence of death should not be passed on him, he replied 
quietly and firmly, I am not guilty. I don’t want to 
say anything else.” 

In his diary, and in a story of his own life,^ Wallace 
has described in considerable detail the events of January 
19th and 20th, and the days and nights which followed, 
until he was released from custody. It concludes with a 
reference to his feelings at the moment when he heard 
that his appeal had been allowed : 

“ I have been asked so many times just what I felt at 
that supreme moment. I cannot attempt to define my 
feelings. The weight of the whole universe, which had 
been pressing the life out of me, was magically lifted. My 
ears heard the song of birds, and I saw a kaleidoscope of 
glorious colours. I was free ! Free to go out into the 
world — free to breathe the wild winds of the heavens, 
free to walk the streets that seemed in my imagination as 
soft and fragrant as the fields.” 

After his conviction had been quashed by the Court of 
Criminal Appeal, he returned, but in an indoor capacity, 
to his employment with the Prudential Assurance Com- 
pany. He found it necessary to leave his house in Liverpool 
and, until the time of his death, on February 26th last, 
he lived a life of considerable loneliness and detachment 
in Cheshire. 

^p. 301- 



Mr. Roland Oliver, K.G., in his closing speech for the 
Defence, said that he regarded the two most essential 
points to be considered in determining the guilt or inno- 
cence of the accused were (i) Did Wallace telephone the 
message to the Chess Club? and (2) The time at which 
the murder was committed. The evidence as to the tele- 
phone call is instructive from several points of view, and 
will be reviewed later. It may be said at once, however, 
that the mere fact that such a call was made on the 
evening of January 19th shows that a crime was pre- 
meditated, and with what deliberation it was planned. 

The time of death, concerning which there was much 
conflict of medical evidence, was, of course, very im- 
portant for the defence. The fallibility of rigor mortis as a 
test of the time of death has seldom been exemplified 
with a greater generosity of assertion, and, as any ad- 
ditional tests were apparently not exhaustively applied, 
the evidence on this point remained both confusing and 
inconclusive. The Prosecution were compelled to rely 
exclusively on the statements of the witness Close as to 
when Mrs. Wallace was last seen alive, and even accepting 
the time of this as 6.30 — and there was evidence not to be 
lightly disregarded that it was nearer 6.45 — it constituted 
a strong point in favour of the accused. It was clear that 
the murder might have been committed during the time 
that Wallace was in the house, but it was equally con- 
sistent with the evidence that it might have been com- 
mitted after 6.50 — the latest time at which Wallace must 
have commenced his journey to Menlove Avenue. Thus, 
even accepting the times put forward by the Prosecution, 
there was only a period of twenty minutes for the murder 
to have been committed, and for various essential things 
to be done, if Wallace was to ecape immediate detection, 



or, at least, become the subject of grave suspicion on the 
arrival later in the evening of the police. Mr. Justice 
Wright, in his summing-up, referred to this as follows, 
and it is one of the several statements he made to the jury 
which showed the strength of his views in favour of the 
accused : ‘‘ Now, what time had the prisoner available 
if he was the murderer ? — because that is the most vital 
part of the case. If you think, on the evidence as to time, 
that the times are so short as either to make it impossible 
that the prisoner should have done this act, or, anyhow, 
to make it very improbable, then that would be a very 
strong element in your conclusion on the real question 
in the case.” 

The Prosecution also laid considerable emphasis on 
the activities of Wallace, and his remarks to various 
witnesses from the time he left the house on the night of 
the murder until his return at 8.45. It may be noted 
that Wallace at once gave an account of his movements 
on that night to the police, and it was this information 
which enabled them to trace the various witnesses to 
whom he had spoken in the course of his journey and 
enquiries. It was, however, pointed out by Mr. Hem- 
merde, K.C., that if it was the purpose of Wallace to 
establish a fictitious alibi he would naturally speak to as 
many people as reasonably possible, and in such a way as 
to make them unlikely to forget the conversation ; and 
also, for the same reason, he would give the fullest informa- 
tion to the police at the earliest moment after the dis- 
covery of the crime. It must be admitted that, even in the 
earlier stages of that fruitless journey, Wallace displayed 
in his contacts with witnesses a somewhat unusual, but, 
perhaps, not uncharacteristic, explanatory enthusiasm 
for his mission. His meeting with a police constable is 
not without interest in this connection. In response to his 
enquiry for Menlove Gardens East, he was told that there 



was no such address. He then asked if it was possible for 
him to see a directory anywhere, and the police constable 
suggested that he should go either to the police station or 
the post office. Wallace was stated to have then said : 

I am an insurance agent looking for a Mr. Qualtrough 
who rang up at the club and left a message for me with 
my colleague to ring Mr. Qualtrough up at 25 Menlove 
Gardens East.” He then took out his watch, and said. 

It is not eight o’clock yet.” The constable replied that 
it was a quarter to eight — and the conversation ended. A 
little later he entered a newsagent’s shop, and asked if 
he could see a directory. The manageress supplied him 
with one, and apparently waited while he examined it. 
After a few moments, he asked her : “ Do you know what 
I am looking for ? Number 25 Menlove Gardens East,” 
and he was then told^^ for the third time, that there was 
no such address. 

Mr. Hemmerde commented on this evidence, that it 
was significant that Wallace should not have attempted to 
ascertain definitely the position of Menlove Gardens 
East before making the journey, in particular as his own 
superintendent, Mr. Crewe, lived in the district. It may be 
said, however, that as there was a Menlove Gardens 
North, South, and West, it would not have been un- 
reasonable to assume that there was also Menlove Gar- 
dens East. It may be said here, that there was one omission 
from the information the accused gave to the police as to 
his attempts to find the address given in the message. He 
mentioned in evidence — although it was not in any of his 
statements to the police — that he called at the house of 
Mr. Crewe, to make an enquiry, and could not get any 
answer. He stated in re-examination that he had not 
mentioned the incident of the call, as he was giving to the 
police the names of the people to whom he had actudly 
spoken on that evening. He also said in one of his 



statements that having failed to find Qualtrough, or the 
address given, he became suspicious. He was asked why he 
became suspicious, and he replied : Well, seeing I could 
not definitely find either the man or the place, I had an 
idea that something was not quite right, and seeing that 
there had been in our own street only fairly recently a 
burglary, and one possibly eighteen months or two years 
ago, and a number of tragedies in the street, I was rather 
inclined at first to think that something of the sort might 
have been attempted at my own house.” 


Mr. Justice Wright, in one of the passages of his sum- 
ming-up, said : The real test of the value of circum- 
stantial evidence is — Does it exclude other theories or 
possibilities ? If you cannot put the evidence against the 
accused man beyond a probability and nothing more, if 
that is a probability which is not inconsistent with there 
being other reasonable possibilities, then it is impossible 
for a jury to say, ‘ Wc are satisfied beyond reasonable 
doubt that the charge is made out against the accused 
man.’ ” 

One of the many difficulties with which the Prosecution 
had to contend was, that such evidence as existed against 
the accused was composed of a very large number of 
details, most of which were capable of several interpre- 
tations. As the judge again said, ‘‘ If every matter relied 
on as circumstantial is equally or substantially consistent 
both with the guilt or innocence of the prisoner, the 
multiplication of those instances may not take you any 
further in coming to a conclusion of guilt.” There was, 
of course, no direct evidence connecting Wallace with the 
crime, and it was impossible to put forward any motive. 
But if circumstantial evidence of this nature places many 



difficulties in the way of the Crown, it makes the task of 
the Defence, compelled to appeal to an untrained and 
inexpert, and, probably, prejudiced jury, one of even 
greater magnitude. Mr. Justice Wright, when considering 
various discrepancies in the evidence of Wallace, expressed 
the opinion that, considering the circumstances, it was 
very striking that his many statements were so lucid and 
so accurate. It must be admitted that the evidence of 
Wallace as a whole hangs together with remarkable 
consistency. It may even be contended that such accuracy 
and consistency, at times and under such conditions as to 
make inaccuracies appear almost inevitable, revealed a 
mind either of a highly susceptible and retentive quality, 
or one which had carefully and cunningly and deliber- 
ately prepared and stored a large number of details 
which might later be useful for the purpose of defence. 
For it was just that sort of evidence in which an ordinary 
and completely innocent person, under such unusual and 
distressing circumstances, might have been expected to 
blunder. The truth is, that it is impossible for anyone, in 
this fortuitous and complicated world of human relations, 
to live actively and socially for even two days without 
providing some reasonable ground for suspicion if all his 
words and actions and attitudes are suddenly concen- 
trated upon some dominant event. And it is obvious, 
whatever evidence may be brought against the accused, 
that he is at a serious disadvantage from the moment he 
is arrested until the verdict is delivered. He is compelled, 
once the charge against him is made, to attempt to 
reconcile all his words and actions, and even his demean- 
our, with his innocence, when everything he has done and 
said over the period material to the issue has already 
suffered a process and an interpretation mainly directed 
to his guilt. In any case which depends on circum- 
stantial evidence, and that evidence consisting, as to any 



Strength of guilt it may possess, on the cumulative effect 
of a great number of facts and inferences, rather than on 
the weight of a few strong and positive allegations 
supported, perhaps, by a possible motive, the story as told 
in Court becomes one of the profoundest interest, but the 
greatest difficulty. The Wallace trial, if for no other 
reason than that it later became the basis of the very 
exceptional judgment on appeal, was of considerable legal 
importance. But it is from its human and dramatic 
aspect that it derives its greatest value ; in the study of a 
man who was either one of the greatest and most efficient 
criminals who has ever stood in the dock, or one of the 
most unfortunate victims of a conspiracy of fact who has 
ever been put on trial for his life. 

The task of the Prosecution was also made more 
difficult by the fact that it was impossible to suggest any 
motive on the part of the prisoner for the crime. The 
evidence as to Wallace’s amicable relations with his wife, 
whether derived from witnesses or his own diaries, could 
not have been stronger or more in his favour, and it was 
doubtless the absence of any reasonable motive on the 
part of the accused for such a callous and brutal murder 
which produced from a witness for the Prosecution the 
suggestion that the crime had been committed in a 
moment of frenzy. The fact, however, that the murder 
must have been premeditated for at least twenty-four 
hours made any theory of temporary insanity of little 
service to the case against the accused. 


The most dramatic evidence given at the trial, apart 
from that concerned with the events immediately follow- 
ing the return of Wallace to his house, had reference to 
the call which was made from a public telephone box to 



the City Caft at about 7.15 on the evening preceding the 
murder. It appeared that the person in the box had some 
difficulty in obtaining the number, and that it is the 
practice of the exchange, where there is any delay, to 
keep a record of such calls. This made it possible for the 
call to be traced to a telephone box only four hundred 
yards from Wallace’s house in Wolverton Street. This 
discovery was, of course, of some assistance to the Prosecu- 
tion in their contention that the call was made by Wallace 
himself, in a disguised voice, as a first step in the direction 
of establishing an alibi. Wallace admitted that he left 
his house on that evening at 7.15, and that he had 
occasionally used the call-box. If his evidence is accepted, 
it must certainly, from one point of view, be regarded as 
a remarkable coincidence that, within three or four 
minutes of that time, someone was in the call-box only 
four hundred yards away, attempting to deliver a message 
for Wallace to the City Caft — and it was clear that the 
person in the call-box was already acting in pursuance of 
the plan for the events of the following night. 

Mr. Hemmerde pointed out that if ‘‘ Qual trough ” was 
the person in the call-box, it was almost incredible that 
he did not take the trouble to call at the house, either for 
the purpose of seeing Wallace himself, or to leave a note. 
The fact that the telephone box was within such easy 
reach of 29 Wolverton Street appeared to be a strong 
point for the Prosecution, but it may be asked, assuming 
that Wallace was anxious to establish an alibi, would he 
have been likely to use a call-box so close to his own house, 
and one in which it was quite possible for him to be 
recognised ? It was said that no one could have known 
that Wallace intended to be at the Chess Club on that 
evening. But, apart from the fact that his name was on 
the fixture board as due to play on January 19th, it 
would not have been unreasonable — although certainly, 



in the circumstances, unwise — ^for anyone, knowing Wal- 
lace’s habits, and that the club met on Mondays and 
Thursdays, to assume that he would be going to the club, 
and that there was a strong probability that he would 
receive the message. 

The actual conversations which took place between the 
mysterious person in the call-box and the telephone 
operator and Mr. Beattie are not without considerable 
significance when considering who was the author of the 
“ Qual trough ’’ message. 

The operator said in her evidence that it was “ quite 
an ordinary voice — a man’s voice,” and it said — 
“ Operator, I have pressed button A but have not had my 
correspondent yet.” It may appear to certain critics, 
accustomed in such distressing circumstances to a more 
impassioned form of address, that such a mild and precise 
phrase is not, from a psychological point of view, without 
a certain interest. 

Mr. Roland Oliver cross-examined Mr. Beattie at some 
length as to the message, and the voice in which it was 

Mr. Roland Oliver — I am interested in the voice 
that addressed you on the telephone on this particular 
evening. How much conversation did you have with it ? 
Could you reproduce the conversation for us, do you 
think ? 

Witness — Yes, partly. I can give you an idea of the 

Mr. Roland Oliver — The part I am interested in 
particularly is the part in which the voice told you about 
the business, whatever it was. Can you remember what 
the voice said about that ? 

Witness — Yes. I told him that Mr. Wallace was coming 
to the club that night and he would be there shortly, and 



would he ring up again. He said : No, I am too busy ; 
I have got my girl’s twenty-first birthday on, and I want 
to see Mr. Wallace on a matter of business ; it is something 
in the nature of his business.” 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Something in the nature of his 
business, coupled with a reference to his daughter ? 

Witness — That was the reason he was not able to 
’phone Mr. Wallace himself later that night, because he 
was too busy with his girl’s twenty-first birthday. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — In addition to that conversation, 
I suppose he spelt for you the name “ Qualtrough ” ? 

Witness — ^Y es, at my request. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^At the police court you said 
it was a confident and strong voice. 

Witness — That means it was not a hesitating voice, in 
answer to some question. 

Mr. Justice Wright — You used the words, ‘‘ It was a 
confident voice.” 

Witness — Yes, in answer to a question it was a confident 
voice, sure of himself. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Do you know Mr. Wallace’s 
voice well ? 

Witness — Y es. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Does it occur to you now it was 
anything like his voice? 

Witness — It would be a great stretch of the imagina- 
tion for me to say it was anything like that. 

The Prosecution laid considerable emphasis on the 
improbability of anyone, anxious to secure the absence 
of Wallace from his house on the following night, adopting 
a plan which depended so much on the merest chance. It 
was clear that he would have to take the following risks ; 
(i) That Wallace would receive the message ; (2) That 



if he received it, he would not decide to ignore it ; (3) 
That he would not, before making the journey, enquire 
definitely as to the direction of Menlove Gardens East, 
and (4) That he would not return immediately to 29 
Wolverton Street on discovering that he had been given 
a wrong address. 

It certainly must appear remarkable, on the surface, 
that anyone should rely on such a precarious chain of 
events, and, in particular, anyone contemplating a crime 
which, in other respects, was almost a masterpiece of 
careful preparation and subsequent concealment. But it 
may be said that any person anxious to provide for 
Wallace’s absence from 29 Wolverton Street on the 
following evening had certain ways open to him of 
minimising the risks, and of ascertaining, within certain 
limits, if there was a reasonable probability that his plan 
had been successful. The fact that Wallace left his house 
within a few minutes of the time at which the telephone 
call was made gave support to the view that he went 
immediately to the telephone box, but it also lends itself 
to another interpretation and a different theory. If 
Wallace was seen to leave his house, and if it was known 
that he was expected at the Chess Club that evening, 
there would be grounds for any person interested to sup- 
pose that a message telephoned to the club would be 
delivered. If, again, on the following night, his departure 
was observed, it would not have been unnatural to assume 
that he had received the message, and that he had left the 
house with the intention of keeping the appointment with 
‘‘ Qualtrough ” at Menlove Gardens East.” It is also 
probable that anyone so concerned in his movements 
might have had this view confirmed a little later in 
conversation with Mrs. Wallace. If a robbery had been 
planned by anyone who was acquainted with the business 
methods of Wallace, it is only reasonable to suppose that 



he would have decided to commit the crime on the night 
of January 20th, when he might expect to find the collec- 
tion money for a full week in the house. The suggestion 
that “ Qualtrough ” might have called at the house 
instead of telephoning a message is, of course, only 
relevant on the assumption that his business was genuine, 
and, as it was obvious that the person who went into the 
call-box was acting in pursuance of a plan to commit a 
crime on the following night, it does not appear to contri- 
bute to a solution. 

It is also clear, if the original intention was robbery and 
not murder, which would require additional time to 
remove incriminating evidence, and if he was told that 
Wallace had left for “ Menlove Gardens East,’’ that he 
would be justified in considering it improbable that 
Wallace would return before he had discovered the money 
and left the house. 

The strongest point, however, against the case for the 
Prosecution, that Wallace himself telephoned the message, 
is to be found in the behaviour of the person who went 
into the call-box. It has already been stated that for 
Wallace to use a call-box so close to his own house was a 
dangerous and unnecessary expedient. He was on his way 
into the city, there were many other call-boxes which 
would have served his purpose, and the later the time of 
making the call the greater the probability that the 
message would be delivered to him on his arrival at the 
club. A stranger to the district, however, had nothing to 
lose, and, even, in certain eventualities, something to gain 
by making the call from a box within such a short distance 
from the house of the accused. It is also necessary to 
remember the circumstances under which the call was 
recorded by the exchange. When there is a delay in ob- 
taining a number, and it is found necessary to communi- 
cate with the operator, it is usual for the exchange to ask 



for the number of the telephone from which a request is 
made for a connection. 

On the occasion with which we are concerned, the 
person in the call-box apparently told the operator that 
he had pressed button A, but had not had his corres- 
pondent.’’ But, if button A was pressed, as the number 
required had not replied, it must have been done either 
through ignorance or with a purpose. On the evidence of 
one of the operators, however, it appears that the money 
had been returned, and, in that case, it must have been 
button B that was pressed, and not button A. But, of 
course, it was not necessary to press either button for the 
“ correspondent ” to be heard, and the statement must 
have seemed unusual to the operator. It might even be 
suggested not only that the person in the telephone box 
had no fear of the number being discovered, but that he 
purposely adopted a procedure and a mode of expression 
calculated to impress the call on the mind of the operator. 
It is, unfortunately, not clear on the evidence if the 
operator, after the statement was made, asked for the 
number of the call-box, and received it. In such circum- 
stances, however, it appears very probable, as the incident 
and the words used were, in fact, recorded, that the usual 
procedure was followed, and that the number was 
requested and noted. But, even if the number was not 
actually given to the exchange by the person in the call- 
box, it must surely have been obvious to anybody of 
intelligence, even occupied with a less dangerous purpose, 
that the exchange in such a case would probably keep a 
record of the number. On these facts it appears almost 
incredible that anyone planning a murder for the next 
night, in his own house, only four hundred yards away, 
would have committed such a remarkable blunder. 

On the evening in question, it was even doubtful if a 
direct appeal to the operator was necessary, as the evidence 

Cw 33 


showed that the number of the City Caffi had not been 
engaged for half an hour preceding the call from ‘‘ Qjial- 
trough/’ One operator, indeed, stated that at 7.15 she 
put a call through to the City CaK, which was immedi- 
ately answered. But, on the assumption that there was a 
diflSculty in obtaining the number required, it seems 
highly improbable that Wallace — the man who, it was 
said, had “ skilfully and cunningly planned the whole 
thing ” — would have added so substantially to the risks 
and increased the chances of discovery by deliberately 
putting himself into verbal communication on the matter 
with the operator, thereby making it almost inevitable 
that the number of the call-box would sooner or later 
come to the knowledge of the police. Any other person, 
however, could have rung up from that particular call- 
box, and made any request or complaint to the oper- 
ator, without any fear of complications dangerous to 

It seems, on this important part of the case, that we are 
compelled, either to accept the view that it was “ Qual- 
trough ” who was responsible for the telephone message, 
or that Wallace committed an elementary and unneces- 
sary folly, inconsistent with all his other actions, and one 
which he must have known, unless the view taken by the 
Prosecution as to his criminal ability was entirely wrong, 
was certain to subject him, a little later, to grave suspicion. 


The incidents which occurred, and the discoveries 
which were made, both before and after the arrival of the 
police, added to the mystery of the crime, and afforded 
material for a dramatic suggestion to be made later by the 
Prosecution. A broken cabinet was found, from which the 
lid had been wrenched, and it was stated by the accused 



that about ^4 had been taken fiom a small cash-box. 
But in one of the rooms upstairs five Treasury £1 notes 
were discovered in an ornament, and also a hand-bag, 
containing some money, which had apparently belonged 
to the deceased woman. It appeared improbable, in these 
circumstances, that robbery was the motive of the 
assailant, although it must be noted that, on the night of 
the murder, Wallace might have been expected, as a result 
of his insurance collections, to have a sum of between 
£20 and ;;(^ioo in his possession. The front bedroom was 
found to be in a condition of considerable disorder, but 
apparently it did not give the police the impression that 
it had been searched with a view to robbery. 

One of the most remarkable features of the crime was 
that, with the exception of a small clot of blood which was 
found in the bath-room, and a slight smear on one of the 
Treasury notes, and apart, of course, from the sitting- 
room, in which the murder was committed, there was no 
trace of blood in any other part of the house. There was, 
also, no evidence that the assailant had attempted to 
cleanse himself, or his clothing, from any marks or stains 
of blood, and, as Mr. Justice Wright said, “ Whoever did 
the crime, the evidence seems conclusive, must have been 
very seriously splashed with blood.” The discovery in the 
sitting-room of a mackintosh, heavily stained both inside 
and outside, appeared to the Prosecution to supply an 
explanation of this. According to the evidence, the 
mackintosh was lying partly under the body of the 
deceased, and a little beneath the right shoulder. Wallace 
had no hesitation in admitting to several witnesses that it 
was his mackintosh, and that he had worn it earlier in the 
day. Mrs. Johnston thought it looked as though Mrs. 
Wallace had put it round her shoulders, as she had a cold, 
before answering a knock at the door. But it would seem 
equally, if not more, reasonable that she might have used 



it in the same way if it was her intention to hold a conver- 
sation with a visitor in a cold room. The Crown, however, 
took a different view, and Mr. Hemmerde, in his opening 
speech, referred ingeniously to an earlier trial for murder 
to support his contention : “ The history of our own 
criminal courts,” he said, “ shows what elaborate precau- 
tions people can sometimes take. One of the most famous 
criminal trials was of a man who committed a crime when 
he was naked. A man might perfectly well commit a crime 
wearing a raincoat, as one might wear a dressing-gown, 
and come down, when he is just going to commit the 
murder, with nothing on on which blood could fasten, 
and, with anything like care, he might go away leaving 
the raincoat there, and go and perform the necessary 
washing if he was very careful.” An attempt was made to 
find support for this theory in the fact that the mackintosh 
was partly burnt, and it was asked. Why should any 
stranger have attempted to burn it — who but the prisoner 
could have had any purpose in attempting to destroy it ? 
The evidence showed, however, that a part of the skirt of 
the deceased woman had also been burnt, and it was put 
very strongly for the defence that both the burnings were 
much more likely to have resulted from accident than 
design, and that ‘‘ whoever was doing the act had picked 
up the mackintosh and put out the burning part.” 


Mr. Hemmerde, in his reference to an earlier famous 
trial, doubtless had in mind the trial of Courvoisier, in 
1840, for the murder of Lord William Russell. 

Lord William Russell was found in bed in his house on 
the morning of May 6th, 1840, with his throat cut, so 
severely that the head was almost separated from the 
body. The servants who slept in the house that night 



were his Swiss valet, Courvoisier,^ a young man of twenty- 
three years of age, who had always had an excellent 
character, and two maid-servants, who were also appar- 
ently above suspicion. 

The evidence against Gourvoisier was entirely circum- 
stantial, and the case was one in which there was a con- 
siderable element of doubt. Gourvoisier was arrested, and 
his clothing, person, and property were examined without 
the discovery of any incriminating mark or stain. “ Was 
it not singular,” asked his counsel, that in no part of 
the property belonging to the prisoner, or on his person, 
was one spot of blood found ? If he murdered the man, did 
the jury believe it possible that he should have no taint of 
blood either on his person or his clothes ? Would there not 
have been an appearance of bloody water if he had 
washed himself, and would there not have been stains of 
blood under the nails, which, like the damned spot on 
Lady Macbeth’s hand, no water could wash out ? ” 

The house on the morning of the murder was dis- 
covered in disorder and it appeared to have been burglari- 
ously broken into, and property, plate, and jewellery 
stolen. On a careful examination, however, it was 
obvious that there had not been a burglary, and that 
Gourvoisier must have so arranged matters as to en- 
deavour to make it appear that burglars had stolen the 
missing property and committed the murder. In the 
Recollections of John Adolphus,^ 1871, by his daughter, it is 
stated : After Gourvoisier ’s sentence, he was asked, 
by the Under Sheriff, how it was possible he could have 
cut the throat of his unfortunate master without leaving 
any trace of blood on his clothes, and that nothing should 
have been discovered newly washed. His answer was, 

1 There is an interesting account of his execution in the Annual Register 
for 1840, and of his confession. 

* John Adolphus was the leader of the Bar at the Central Criminal Court 
in 1840. 



that he had no clothes on, he committed the crime in a 
complete state of nudity, and had only to wash himself at 
the sink on coming down.” 

In his own confession, however, which was sent to the 
Home Office from Newgate, Courvoisier stated that this 
was not the case. He says, “ I turned up my coat and 
shirt-sleeve of my right hand when I committed the 
murder. . . . After I had committed the murder, I un- 
dressed and went to bed as usual.” Courvoisier was 
executed for the crime on July 6th, 1840. 


It has been said that Wallace’s evidence as a whole, 
and, in particular, on the most important points vital to 
his guilt or innocence, was both accurate and consistent, 
and given in such a way, whether to the police or before 
the jury, as to carry conviction. His frankness at times, 
when replying to questions of some difficulty, was par- 
ticularly noticeable. He was asked if it would not have 
been a favourable opportunity for anyone wishing to 
commit a robbery to have gone to his house on the night 
when he was expected to be at the Chess Club, instead of 
ringing up to make a false appointment for the next 
evening. He replied immediately, Yes.” It was put to 
him that it was necessary for anyone anxious to establish 
an alibi to give a wrong address, and once again he 

It is true, however, that there were certain inconsis- 
tencies in his evidence on matters of detail, but, taken 
either individually or collectively, they were of little 
assistance to the Prosecution. It was stated that he told 
a police constable that when he left the house on the 
evening of the murder his wife walked a little way down 
the entry with him, and later he made a statement that 



he had parted from her at the back door. It was said, 
with considerable emphasis, that anyone parting from 
his wife for the last time would not be likely to make 
such a mistake — that the event would be too deeply 
impressed on his mind. It may be pointed out, however, 
that if Wallace’s story was true, if his wife was alive and he 
expected to see her again, there was no reason why that 
last parting should have remained more accurately in his 
memory than any one of their other innumerable partings. 
It was an event which occurred before the murder, and it 
was, of course, only as to anything which occurred after 
the discovery of the crime that he could be expected to 
reveal an abnormal sense of recollection. If, on the other 
hand, his story was false, and he had murdered his wife 
before leaving the house, it is most improbable that there 
would have been any mistake or inconsistency in his 
statements or evidence as to that last parting. If guilty, 
the account of the last occasion on which he saw his wife 
was of the greatest importance, and he would have taken 
the greatest care to see that every detail was correct. 
Such contradictions are, no doubt, natural to poets, 
dreamers, lovers, and even people of scientific detach- 
ment, but not to a man who has just committed a skilful 
and calculated murder. 

The statements which were made by Wallace as to his 
actions immediately after his return to the house on the 
night of the murder were of a nature to receive severe 
criticism from the Prosecution. When he met the Johnstons 
at the door of the back yard, he said to them, “ Have you 
heard anything unusual to-night ? ” And then he said, 

I have tried the back door and the front, and they are 
locked against me.” It was suggested that he should try 
the doors again, and he then went up the yard, and, 
apparently without any delay, opened the back door and 
said, “ It opens now,” and entered the house. It was said 



that on the evidence the accused could not have ex- 
perienced any previous difficulty in getting into the house, 
and the suggestion was made that he was merely waiting 
for the arrival of someone to whom he could at once com- 
municate the discovery of the crime. It was stated by an 
expert witness that the locks of both doors were defective, 
and had been in that condition for a long time, but that 
the defects were not sufficiently serious to prevent the 
entry into the house of anyone familiar with their pecu- 
liarities. When Superintendent Moore arrived on the 
scene the same evening, he asked Wallace for his keys, and 
found, after some manipulation, that he could open the 
front door. He pointed this out to Wallace, who replied, 
‘‘ It was not like that this morning.” 

Now, it does not appear open to doubt that it was 
possible for Wallace, with the exercise of customary care, 
to have opened the doors and entered his house, either 
from the front or the back, before the arrival of Mr. and 
Mrs. Johnston. And the task of reconciling the statements 
with the evidence, and his own action in immediately 
entering the house in their presence, is not easily accom- 
plished. But it must be remembered that both the locks 
were defective, and certainly required careful and patient 
treatment if the doors were to be opened ; and it is 
necessary to consider all the circumstances in testing 
Wallace’s explanation of the delay. He told Police Con- 
stable Williams that, having failed to find either Qual- 
trough ” or Menlove Gardens East, he became suspicious 
and decided to return home. He also stated that, finding 
it impossible to open the front door, he knocked, but 
received no answer. In her evidence, Mrs. Johnston said 
that before she left her house with her husband she heard 
Wallace knock on the back door. He had spent, according 
to his own story, a considerable time searching for a man 
and an address without any success, and it was not 



unlikely, if that was the case, that he arrived at the house 
in a tired and irritable, and, perhaps, apprehensive condi- 
tion. If this is accepted, it does not appear unreasonable to 
suggest that his efforts to manipulate the defective locks, 
when by himself, were both hasty and lacking in custom- 
ary care. The presence and support of neighbours would, 
doubtless, have a steadying influence, and give greater 
confidence to a man at such a time, and in such a condi- 
tion, and his next attempt to open the door would prob- 
ably conform much more closely to his normal method in 
dealing with the refractory lock. As against the theory of 
the Prosecution, it was asked why he should have waited 
for the arrival of the Johnstons instead of immediately 
calling at the next-door house and asking their assistance. 
It is, however, obvious, if he was anxious to have wit- 
nesses to the later events, that an accidental meeting was 
much more likely to serve his purpose, and much less 
likely to arouse suspicion than any intervention resulting 
from his voluntary and deliberate action. 

The fact that on entering the house he at once went 
upstairs without looking into the front sitting-room was 
also criticised by the Prosecution. It was said that it 
would have been natural for any man who had left his 
wife downstairs to have looked into all the rooms on the 
ground floor before searching the rest of the house. The 
sitting-room, however, was apparently only used either 
when Wallace and his wife were passing the evening to- 
gether, or when they had visitors. His action, therefore, 
in at once going upstairs* was capable of two interpreta- 
tions. It may be said that he knew his wife had been 
murdered in the sitting-room, or, if he did not know that 
anything unusual had occurred, that it was more reason- 
able for him to have thought that he would find her 
upstairs. It is also not without significance that the sitting- 
room, owing to its proximity to the street, was the least 



likely room in the house to be selected for the commission 
of such a crime. If anyone, either as an acquaintance, or 
a stranger prepared with an adequate explanation, had 
been admitted to the house on that evening, it is not 
unreasonable to assume that he would have been taken 
into that room by Mrs. Wallace. 

Such evidence as existed of a robbery having been 
committed was, like much of the other evidence, capable 
of different interpretations. The front bedroom, when 
examined by the police, in the presence of Wallace, on the 
night of the murder, supplied evidence which only added 
to the mystery. The bed-clothes were left half on the bed 
and half on the floor, and the two pillows were lying near 
the fireplace. When questioned by the police about this, 
Wallace said that he had not been in the room for a fort- 
night, and that he did not think his wife had left the room 
in that condition. The police formed the view that the 
room did not appear as if it had been searched for the 
purpose of discovering money or valuables, and the 
implication followed that Wallace had upset the room 
himself, as part of his plan to arrange matters in such 
a way as to suggest that a robbery had been committed. 

If this view be accepted, it appears a little strange that 
the appearance of the room in general was not made 
more convincing. It may be said, if the room was so 
arranged by Wallace, that he had little time at his disposal 
on the night of the murder. But it may also be said that 
there was no reason why the room should not have 
received more efficient treatment at any time within the 
preceding twenty-four hours. There is a temptation to go 
even further, and to suggest that only a robber, probably 
limited by time and made careless by fear, would have 
left the room in such an inconclusive condition. 

There was also an event which occurred two days after 
the tragedy, and, of course, before the arrest of Wallace, 



which the Prosecution regarded as of considerable im- 
portance. It appeared that Wallace, having just had an 
interview with the police, met, by chance, Mr. Beattie, 
the captain of the Chess Club, and they had some con- 
versation concerning the crime. According to the evidence, 
Wallace said, ‘‘ About that telephone message ! Can you 
tell me at what time you received it ? ” And Mr. Beattie 
replied, ‘‘ About seven o’clock or shortly after.” He was 
then asked, ‘‘ Cannot you get nearer to it than that ? It 
is of great importance to me. I should like you to be more 
exact, more definite.” Wallace was later questioned by the 
police about this conversation, and, when asked why he 
had said that the time was important, he replied, “ I 
had an idea, we all have ideas, it was indiscreet of me.” 
He was asked at the trial what he meant by saying that he 
had been indiscreet in asking such a question, and his 
answer was : If I was a suspected person, I realised that 
it was unwise for me to be discussing the case with a man 
who might possibly be called as a witness in any charge.” 
He also said that he felt he was suspected by the police. 
Mr. Justice Wright told the jury, however, that it would 
be very dangerous for them to draw any inference seriously 
adverse to the prisoner from that conversation. 

It may be argued, no doubt, that the Prosecution, in a 
case of such difficulty, were compelled to lay what 
emphasis they could on all the details of the case. But it 
must be admitted that there is a grave danger in such a 
case, heard under conditions not conducive to concentra- 
tion, before a jury unaccustomed to weigh evidence, and 
in all probability very susceptible to inference, that too 
much importance may be paid to details, and that they 
may even result in a verdict directly opposed to the major 

It is probable, for instance, in the present case, that the 
evidence which was given as to Wallace’s demeanour 



after the discovery of the crime, and his composure in the 
witness-box, had an influence on the jury quite dispro- 
portionate to its value. A police witness, when asked as to 
Wallace’s demeanour on the night of the crime, replied 
that he was “ quiet and collected, smoking cigarettes, 
and talking generally ” ; and another police witness 
stated that “ he was cool and calm. He did not seem to be 
in the least upset. I did not see any sign of emotion in him 
at all at the death of his wife.” Professor MacFall, when 
asked the same question, described Wallace as being 
too quiet, too collected, for a person whose wife had 
been killed in that way. He was not nearly so affected as 
I was myself” ; and when asked if he remembered any- 
thing in particular which led him to that conclusion, he said, 
I think he was smoking cigarettes most of the time. 
Whilst I was in the room examining the body and the 
blood, he came in smoking a cigarette, and he leant over 
in front of the sideboard and flicked the ash into a bowl. 
It struck me at the time as being unnatural.” Mrs. John- 
ston, however, who remained with Wallace when her 
husband went for the police, was equally emphatic on 
the other side. When questioned as to Wallace’s attitude, 
she said, that at first he seemed calm and collected, and 
then, “ he twice showed emotion by putting his hands to 
his head, and he sobbed.” And a little later, in cross- 
examination, if we were left in the kitchen alone he 
appeared as if he would break down, but he made an 
effort to control himself when the police came.” 

It may be interesting in this connection to quote 
Wallace’s own words, from an article written later, as to 
his demeanour during that fateful time. Referring to one 
of the witnesses at the trial, he wrote : He did not know 
that for forty years I had drilled myself in iron control 
and prided myself on never displaying an emotion out- 
wardly in public. I trained myself to be a stoic. My griefi 



and joys can be as intense as those of any man, but the 
rule of my life has always been to give them expression 
only in privacy. Stoicism is so little practised to-day that 
when seen it is called callousness.” 

It is generally admitted by those who have studied the 
subject that the demeanour of a prisoner on trial for his 
life cannot be taken as any indication either as to his 
innocence or guilt. And yet it may be doubted if anything 
said at such a trial, apart from direct evidence connecting 
the accused with the crime, has so much influence with a 
jury. If a prisoner displays emotion, hesitation, or lack of 
control, it would almost invariably be regarded by any 
average jury as a sign of guilt, whereas if he is calm and 
collected it would certainly not be considered as an 
indication of innocence. The reactions of the individual 
to unusual and, in particular, tragic experience vary 
infinitely according to the character and temperament 
and health of the person involved. It may appear to many, 
indeed, as if the time has arrived when statements as to 
the demeanour of the accused person should not, at any 
rate when the charge is one of murder, continue to be 
permissible as evidence. 


Mr. Justice Wright in his summing-up considered at 
some length the evidence as to the telephone message, and 
— ‘‘ the most vital part of the case ” — the time which was 
available for the prisoner if he committed the crime. He 
indicated very clearly on both these important points, as 
well as on other important matters brought out in evi- 
dence, that it was his view that the Prosecution had failed 
to prove their case against the accused. The summing-up, 
indeed, is remarkable for the number of emphatic state- 
ments on the part of the judge in favour of the prisoner. 



It is worthy of note that, on a part of the case of such 
importance to the Prosecution, and which was concerned 
with the time of death, the judge should have felt himself 
compelled to tell the jury, ‘‘ With these conflicting views 
you may well think that you can derive no help from the 
medical evidence.” A little later in his summing-up, Mr. 
Justice Wright observed, “ However you regard the 
matter, the whole crime was so skilfully devised and so 
skilfully executed, and there is such an absence of any 
trace to incriminate anybody, as to make it very difl&cult 
to say, although it is a matter entirely for you, that it can 
be brought home to anybody in particular.” And, once 
again, he told the jury, Indeed, the evidence is quite 
consistent with some unknown criminal for some unknown 
motive having got into the house, and executed the 
murder and gone away.” 

The jury brought in a verdict of Guilty against the 
prisoner. He was sentenced to death. 

It is unwise to speculate, however great the provocation, 
on the probable grounds for the verdict of a jury. In the 
present case it was to receive an adequate criticism by 
the very exceptional judgment in the Court of Criminal 
Appeal. In view, however, of the summing-up, and the 
unconvincing nature of the evidence, one or two general 
observations may be made. It has been said that the 
present procedure, whereby a person accused of murder 
is subjected to what amounts to a double trial, is open to 
criticism and reform. The trial of Wallace took place over 
two months after the proceedings at the police court, and 
those proceedings received gr^at publicity all over the 
north of England, and aroused very considerable public 
interest and discussion. Is it not obvious that such a lapse 
of time before the case is heard in the city where the crime 
was committed must constitute a grave danger to justice 



and the freedom of the individual ; and that it must 
inevitably result in the circulation of rumour, the creation 
of prejudice, and make impartiality on the part of any 
person who may subsequently become involved in the 
case almost an impossibility ? This was well evidenced at 
the trial of Wallace. A police witness was asked by Mr. 
Hemmerde : ‘‘ Why was he [Wallace] being followed ? ’’ 
and the witness replied : ‘‘ Because he was going round 
his block collecting the insurance money, and we were 
told that the people there were hostile to him, and we sent 
a man with him in case of necessity.” Another witness 
was asked, for the Defence : “ From your method of 
addressing him on this occasion it looks as if people 
suspected him. Do you know, had there been rumours 
about him when his wife was found killed ? ” and the 
witness replied : It was only the working of my own 
mind, having mixed with the general public, and having 
heard varying expressions of opinion.” 

It is true that at the trial the jury, which included two 
women jurors, was called from the surrounding districts 
and not exclusively from Liverpool. But does this make 
any substantial difference, particularly in the case of a 
man who was an official of a company which had very 
extensive ramifications ? The proceedings at the police 
court were extensively published in the Press, and it is 
highly improbable that any prejudice or rumours which 
existed were confined to his own city. 

The Lord Chancellor’s committee recently recom- 
mended important changes in the jury system, but these 
recommendations applied, of course, only to civil cases. 
It may be that before long an enquiry will be held to 
consider ways and means of improving the present crim- 
inal procedure. In the meantime, however, it does not 
appear unreasonable to suggest that, in any case where 
the charge is one of murder and the sentence death, and 



the judge is unable to identify himself with the verdict, 
he should have the right to postpone sentence until after 
a hearing by the Court of Criminal Appeal. It may be 
said that the judge at present has the power, if he thinks 
that the evidence against the prisoner is insufficient, to 
withdraw the case from the jury at the close of the case 
for the Prosecution. But under the present procedure, 
which permits, with what has been called “ the cruel 
kindness of the law,” the accused to go into the witness- 
box and tell his own story, a judge would almost invari- 
ably (frequently, no doubt, in the interest of the accused 
himself) be reluctant to exercise this power. The position 
of a person who has to live his future amongst his fellow 
human beings is obviously very different if he has been 
acquitted by a jury than if he has merely had his appeal 
allowed by the higher Court. In the experience of the 
past it has been shown on many occasions that the 
evidence of the accused is just as likely — if not more likely 
— to support the case for the Prosecution as that of the 
Defence. It appeared at the trial of Wallace that, although 
the Prosecution failed to derive any substantial assistance 
from the evidence of the accused, the Defence, at the same 
time, were not to receive any benefit in the view of the 


The appeal of Wallace to the Court of Criminal Appeal 
resulted in a judgment which quashed his conviction on 
the grounds that the verdict of guilty was unreasonable, 
and could not be supported by the evidence. It is the only 
conviction for murder which the Court has quashed on 
these grounds.^ In his judgment^ the Lord Chief Justice 

^ See the case of Charles Ellsom, C.A.R., Vol. VII. In this case the charge 
was one of murder and the conviction was also quashed under Section 4 of 
the Act, but it was on the ground of misdirection. 

* Sec p. 293. 



said, ‘‘ It would not have been at all surprising if the 
result had been an acquittal of the prisoner.’* The fact, 
however, that the Court of Criminal Appeal decided to 
quash the conviction shows how strong must have been 
the views of the judges that the verdict was not merely 
against the weight of evidence, but that it was unrea- 

It is interesting to note the proviso to Section 4 of the 
Criminal Appeal Act under which the conviction was 
quashed : “ Provided that the Court may dismiss the 
appeal if they think that no substantial miscarriage of 
justice has occurred.” It appears to be obvious if the 
Court has decided that a verdict of guilty cannot be sup- 
ported by the evidence that an appeal could not be dis- 
missed under the proviso. Such a decision of necessity 
implies that a substantial miscarriage of justice has 
occurred, and that the conviction must be quashed.^ It 
may, however, be regarded as unfortunate, in view of the 
wording of Section 4, that the judgment referred to the 
present case in terms which could only be construed in 
a light, to some extent, unfavourable to the appellant. It 
was surely an occasion on which brevity would have 
combined accuracy with a certain measure of generosity. 
The decision, however, constituted a precedent, and, 
remembering the general reluctance of the Court to in- 
terfere with the verdict of a jury, it is not without con- 
siderable interest and significance. 

W, F. Wyndham-Brown. 

1 A question was subsequently asked in the House of Commons as to 
whether Wallace was to receive any compensation, and the Home Secretary 
replied : “ It does not appear to come under the heading of miscarriages 
of justice.’* 





ST. George’s hall, Liverpool 
Wednesday^ 22nd Aprils igji 


Mr. justice WRIGHT 

(and a jury) 




The Recorder (Mr. E. G. Hemmerde, 
K.C.) and Mr. Leslie Walsh appeared 
on behalf of the Prosecution. 

Mr. Roland Oliver, K.C., and Mr. 

S. ScHOLEFiELD Allen appeared on 
behalf of the Defence. 



The Clerk of Assize — ^William Herbert Wallace, 
you are indicted and the charge against you is murder, 
in that on the 20th day of January, 1931, at Liverpool, 
you murdered Julia Wallace. How say you, William 
Herbert Wallace, are you guilty or not guilty ? 

The Prisoner — Not guilty. 

(The jury were duly sworn.) 

The Clerk of Assize — Members of the jury, the pris- 
oner at the Bar, William Herbert Wallace, is indicted and 
the charge against him is murder, in that on the 20th day of 
January, 1931, at Liverpool, he murdered Julia Wallace. 
Upon this indictment he has been arraigned, upon his 
arraignment he has pleaded that he is not guilty and has 
put himself upon his country, which country you are, and 
it is for you to enquire whether he be guilty or not and 
to hearken to the evidence. 


Mr. Hemmerde — May it please your Lordship, mem- 
bers of the jury, the charge against the prisoner, as you 
have heard, is murder. I shall have to open to you in 
some detail a story not without its difficulties, but which 
I think must show a very serious case against the prisoner. 
He has been for some years an agent of the Prudential, 
and he was living at a house in Wolverton Street in 



Anfield in this city, and had been living there for some 
years with his wife, apparently on terms of happiness and 
comradeship. In fact, so far as the happiness of this house- 
hold is concerned, the Crown knows nothing to the con- 
trary of the view that these two people were very happy 
together. In spite of that, the Crown now lay before you 
evidence which, though it will not show you any motive, 
nevertheless, I shall suggest to you, will carry you almost 
irresistibly to the conclusion that in spite of aU the happi- 
ness of that little household, in spite of everything that 
one knows about the relations of these people, on the 
night of January 20th of this year this woman was mur- 
dered by her husband. 

You will hear that sometimes on Mondays, and pos- 
sibly some other days, the prisoner was in the habit of 
visiting a cafe in North John Street, called the City Cafe, 
because he was a member of a chess club that used to 
meet there to play chess, I think, once a fortnight. The 
club, I think, was called the Central Chess Club. It had 
no telephone number of its own ; it merely met there, 
and that was the place of their fortnightly meetings. On 
January 19th, which was a Monday, about 7.15 to 7.20, 
a telephone message came through to the club, to the 
caf(6, the number of which is Bank 3851. This message 
was a message making an appointment for the prisoner 
to meet a man the next night at half past seven, at an 
address two or three miles from his house ; the name was 
Qualtrough ; the address was 25 Menlove Gardens East. 
He was not in the club, and the message was taken by 
the captain of the club, a Mr. Beattie. We know, as a 
matter of fact, where the message came from. In the 
ordinary way, if you telephoned and got through at once 
it would not be easy, I think it might not be possible, to 
trace the origin of the call ; but in this particular case some 
difficulty was experienced by the person ringing up from 




a public call-ofEcc in getting through, and, as a result, 
we can trace the call as having come from a call-box 
four hundred yards from the house in Wolverton Street. 
If you except a telephone in the public library and shops, 
I think you will find that that was the nearest call-box 
to the prisoner’s house. That message came through, as I 
have said, at about 7.20. Subsequently he arrived, and, 
when he arrived, he was told that somebody wanted him 
to call on him — Someone wants you to call on him 
to-morrow at 7.30, at Menlove Gardens East. It is in the 
nature of your business.” Mr. Beattie told him that ; the 
prisoner wrote that down. As the result of his not know- 
ing where it was, a certain amount of conversation was 
brought about. The suggestion of the Crown is, that the 
person who rang up from that box, Anfield 1627, was the 
prisoner himself. You will follow with some care the 
details as to what happens next. Let me just say in passing, 
that this club is not a club that advertised ; it is a little 
chess club the meetings of which would be only known to 
its few members. You may think it curious that a total 
stranger to the prisoner, speaking from a place four 
hundred yards from his house, where, according to him, 
he actually was at the time, should have rung up the 
City Cafr ; you would have thought that he might have 
called at the house ; you might have thought that he 
might have written to the house, he might have left a 
note at the house. None of these things happened, but a 
person unknown to the prisoner, with this name of 
“ Qualtrough,” rings up the City Cafe, where that chess 
club plays, and there leaves a message that he is expected 
the next night to call on someone he does not know, at an 
address which you will find does not exist. There is no 
Menlove Gardens East, and you will have to consider 
whether this giving of this name and address was part of 
a cunningly laid scheme to create an alibi for the next 



night, or whether it was really a genuine message. Let 
us follow what happens next. I said that his failure to 
know Menlove Gardens East provoked conversation. He 
is a man who, as a Prudential agent, has been in or about 
Liverpool for many years. You probably have been in or 
about Liverpool for many years. Menlove Avenue, you 
may think, marks a spot fairly familiar to most Liverpool 
men and women who go about with their eyes and ears 
open, but when Mr. Wallace is told of it, I do not say he 
says he docs not know where Menlove Avenue is, but he 
says he does not know where Menlove Gardens East is. 
One would imagine (but it is a matter entirely for you) 
that a person knowing the district of Menlove Avenue 
would have some idea that Menlove Gardens as a fact 
opened off it, and when you are dealing with a man who, 
you will find, was in the district from time to time, 
having music lessons quite near there, you may think that 
some of the ignorance that he displayed on this occasion 
was not genuine but was assumed, because it was neces- 
sary, if that is the right view of the facts, that he should 
as far as possible draw attention to the fact that the next 
night he was going, at half past seven, some miles away 
from his house. Not only did it provoke conversation at the 
time, but on his way home with two friends called Caird 
and Bethurn, he returned to the matter, and he said, 
‘‘ Qual trough — ^it is a funny name ; I have never heard 
of it. Have you ? ” Then Caird said to him, ‘‘ You should 
take a Queen’s Drive bus to Menlove Avenue or Menlove 
Gardens,” which many of you may know was sound 
advice. He said he would not know that way, but would 
take the car to town and out again, if he went at all, 
but he was not sure he would go. That is how we leave 
it that night : a message from a call-box four hundred 
yards from his house, asking him to meet a man whom he 
had never seen, and whose name was not familiar to him, 



at a place, Menlove Gardens East, which, as a fact, did 
not exist. You may think that someone in making that 
appointment was wanting to get him out of the way the 
next night, or you may think that he wanted people to 
believe that someone wanted to get him out of the way 
the next night. 

Now, follow what happens the next night. On January 
20th, the Tuesday, the next day, at 3.30, a police officer 
called Rothwell, cycling in Maida Lane, sees the prisoner 
hurrying, apparently distressed and apparently wiping 
his eye. I will not go further into that for the moment ; 
you will hear the police officer. At 6.30, a boy called Close 
delivers milk at 29 Wolverton Street. He knows the time 
very accurately, because he had had to go on foot that 
day ; I think his bicycle was out of order, and he had to 
complete his round by a certain time, and he will tell 
you that he noticed the clock : according to him it must 
have been within a minute or two one way or the other 
of half past six when he delivered the milk at 29 Wolver- 
ton Street and saw Mrs. Wallace, the deceased woman, 
and spoke to her. That was the last time that she was 
seen alive. We know that at that time from Wallace’s own 
statement he was there, and apparently left the house 
somewhere about 6.45. You may take it that if he is guilty 
of this atrocious crime — because whoever did it was 
guilty of a most atrocious crime — it must have been com- 
mitted within the time from 6.30 to about 6.50, because 
at a time between 7.6 and 7.10 he boarded a car at the 
junction of Smithdown Lane and Lodge Lane^ — I say 
‘‘ between 7.6 and 7.10,” because sometimes the cars are 
running at that time about two minutes late, and I give 
just the margin. Now follow what happens there. He 
boards the car at the junction of Smithdown Lane and 
Lodge Lane, and says, Does this car go to Menlove 
Gardens East ? ” The conductor says, ‘‘ No, but you can 



board my car and I will give you a penny ticket or 
transfer.’’ The prisoner boards the car, and says, ‘‘ I 
am a stranger in the district and I have important 
business.” You will remember that he did not know 
Qualtrough, either by name or what his business was. 
When the conductor went for fares, just afterwards, 
Wallace again said, You won’t forget, mister ; I want 
to get to Menlove Gardens East.” At 7.15, Wallace is on 
another car which runs from Penny Lane to Calder- 
stones. He asks the conductor there to put him off at 
Menlove Gardens, which, as a matter of fact, is the next 
stop just up the road. You will see that there is a 
tram stop at the bottom, and on the left runs Queen’s 
Drive. Then, a very short way along, the next tram stop 
is Menlove Gardens West, and out of that runs Menlove 
Gardens South and Menlove Gardens North. You may 
have thought that a person would more naturally have 
reached that point which is one tram stop from Menlove 
Gardens West, have walked that little distance, but he 
rode it, and he had that conversation again. He asked 
the conductor to put him off at Menlove Gardens East. 
When he came to the next tram stop, the conductor 
beckons him, that is at Menlove Gardens West, gives him 
some directions, and the prisoner says, “ Thank you, I 
am a complete stranger round here.” You may think 
that all those conversations with the conductors are 
natural or unnatural. But now again follow what happens 
next. He gets off the tram, and apparently calls at 25 
Menlove Gardens West. At about 7.20, he meets a man 
in the street there, who is a clerk, and that man, whom I 
shall call before you, says, ‘‘ There is no Menlove Gardens 
East.” Twenty minutes later he sees a police constable at 
the junction of Green Lane and Allerton Road. He asks 
that police officer for directions to Menlove Gardens East, 
which, at about 7.20, he had been told by the clerk did 



not exist. The police officer tells him again that there is no 
such place. The prisoner tells the police officer that he 
has been to 25 Menlove Gardens West, and he proceeds 
to tell him that he is an insurance clerk looking for a Mr. 
Qualtrough, that Mr. Qualtrough had rung up his club, 
leaving him a message, and then, after further talk with 
the police officer, he asks him where he could find a 
directory, and is told by the police officer where he could 
find one. Then Wallace says, taking out his watch, “It is 
not eight o’clock yet,” and the police constable, taking 
out his, says, “ It is just a quarter to.” Remember that 
he was told at 7.20 there was no such place as Menlove 
Gardens East. That was confirmed at 7.40 by the police 
officer. You may think that all this is perfectly natural. 
You may think it is over-elaborated. The taking out of 
the watch, so that the police officer should know exactly 
what time he was there, you may think is of some 
importance. The next place in which we find him is 
in a newsagent’s shop — 130 Allerton Road. If you 
were going along Allerton Road in the direction of 
Penny Lane, it is a little way along on the left ; it is a 
newsagent’s shop. He goes in there, and he asks for a 
directory : it is supplied to him. He then says to the 
manageress, and note this, “ Do you know what I am 
looking for ? ” and she says, “ No.” He says, “ I am look- 
ing for 25 Menlove Gardens East.” The manageress says, 
“ There is no East, only North, South, and West.” You 
follow him, therefore, in conversation with the tram con- 
ductors, and finally reaching Menlove Gardens West : 
you follow his enquiries from a clerk, who tells him that 
there is no such place, from the police officer, who tells him 
that there is no such place, and to the manageress at the 
newsagent’s shop, who tells him that there is no such 
place ; and that is the last we know of him there. 

The next we know of him is when, at 8.35, he is seen 



just outside, very close to his house at the back ; I think 
that is actually the next place that he is seen. Let me 
point this out to you in passing. Elaborate tests have been 
made, and you will hear about them from the witnesses. 
There is no difficulty whatever in a man leaving Wolver- 
ton Street round about 6.50 and being where this man was 
first seen round about 7.5 or 7.6 ; no difficulty at all. If he 
did leave the house between 6.45 and 6.50, there was no 
difficulty in his being exactly where he will be proved to 
have been. The next thing, as I say, is that he is seen 
just outside, talking to someone. The only importance of 
that, you will find afterwards, is that he subsequently says 
that he talked to no one on the way back. He gets back 
somewhere about 8.30 or 8.35. Now remember that he is 
living there with a woman about his own age, a woman, 
so far as we know, who had not an enemy in the world, 
a frail, rather old-fashioned woman, and he left her in 
the house in one of these little streets where you would 
hardly suspect robbers would find, or burglars would 
find, a very rich harvest. He left her like that, and imme- 
diately he found out, as he says, that there was no Menlove 
Gardens East, he hurried home because he felt suspicious. 
Why on earth he should have felt suspicious because 
someone had given him the wrong address it is difficult to 
gather, but he hurried home. 

At a quarter to nine, Mr. Johnston was leaving his 
house at the back entry with his wife. Mr. Johnston, as 
I told you, was in the next house. No. 31, on the right as 
you look at the plan. As Mr. Johnston came out of the 
back entry with his wife he sees the prisoner going to- 
wards his own entry door, which is next door to Mr. 
Wallace ; they also touch. The prisoner then says to Mr. 
Johnston — ^remember he has only just come back — 
“ Have you heard anything unusual to-night ? ’’ Mrs. 
Johnston says, “ No ; what has happened ? ” Wallace 



says, “ I have tried the back and the front, and they are 
locked against me.” Mr. Johnston suggested that he 
should try again, and Wallace went and opened the yard 
door, went into the yard, up to the kitchen door, which 
was on the right, you remember, as you go up, and said. 

It opens now.” Then Mr. Johnston said, Look 
around and Fll wait.” 

Now, supposing that you came to the conclusion that 
those doors never were shut against him, and that the 
front door — although it has an odd and troublesome lock, 
and was in a condition that it had been in for years, or 
at any rate for a very long time, that when you turned it, 
if you were not careful, the latch would slip back — was in 
its ordinary condition, and the back door was open, you 
then find a man, who could perfectly well get in if he 
wanted to, pretending that he cannot get in. I think in one 
of his statements he suggests that someone must have 
been in the house at the time, and must have opened the 
back door. Well, you will hear as to the possibilities or 
the probabilities of that. But there he is, at 8.45, able to get 
in when he is there alone, perfectly able to get in, but 
Mr. and Mrs. Johnston are not there. He goes in ; and 
they follow his course up to the house. If you went into 
a house like that, where would you go ? You had left 
your wife downstairs. Would you have looked in the 
downstairs room, or would you have gone upstairs ? It is 
clear, from what they could see outside — because they see 
the light go up in the middle bedroom upstairs, and they 
see a match struck in the laboratory upstairs ; they 
heard him calling — that first of all he goes upstairs. He 
then comes down into the kitchen, and then goes into the 
sitting-room in the front of the house. When he goes into 
the sitting-room in the front of the house, he finds his wife 
lying dead on the floor, lying across the room. The room 
is so small that when open the door comes within 18 



inches of her head ; and there she is lying, as you will 
hear, her head battered in with apparently one terrific 
blow, and then ten blows ; eleven brutal blows. You will 
hear from the medical evidence which we shall call, that 
when Professor MacFall came at 9.50, he will tell you, that 
unfortunate woman had obviously been dead at least 
three hours. One cannot, of course, get exact results, but 
there are certain matters connected with what is known as 
rigor mortis that make it, within certain limits, a scientific 
certainty that there must have been a certain time elapse. 
He goes into that room, he strikes a match. You will hear 
that he goes across, and he lights the far gas bracket — on 
the right, not the one on the left — and then he discovers 
the body. You would have thought that, coming into a 
room like that, as familiar as anything could be, a man 
would walk straight across to the nearest gas, strike a 
light and light it. In the doorway of his own little room he 
strikes a match, he goes across, and, missing the body — 
and there are pools of blood in the room — then lights the 
far light. You might have pictured a cry of agony, bitter 
sorrow, but what happens ? The Johnstons are waiting 
outside ; they see the lights marking his course through 
the house. Then, after a short interval, he comes out, and 
says, “ Come and see ; she has been killed.” They then 
go into the kitchen and they go into the front room, and 
they find this unfortunate woman lying like that, the gas- 
fire not lit, the gas on the right of the fireplace lit. Mr. 
Johnston says, “ We must telephone for the police,” and 
they go into the kitchen. In the kitchen, the prisoner points 
to the door of the cabinet, which you will see, and says, 
“ It has been wrenched off.” He then reaches up to the 
top shelf, and takes a cash-box down and opens it. Mr. 
Johnston says, “ Is anything missing ? ” He says, 
“ About 3(^4, but I cannot say exactly until I see my 
books.” Then Mr. Johnston said to him, “ Is everything 



all right upstairs, before I go for the police ? ’’ The 
prisoner goes upstairs, comes down again, and says, 
‘‘ Everything is all right. There is in a dish they 
have not taken.” Mr. Johnston then went for the police. 
Mrs. Johnston started to light a fire in the kitchen, and 
the prisoner helped her. Then Mrs. Johnston and the 
prisoner returned to the sitting-room and stood by the 
body. Then the prisoner says, ‘‘ Why, whatever was she 
doing with her mackintosh and my mackintosh ” ; and 
you will hear how a mackintosh was rolled up and 
pressed against her. Mrs. Johnston said, ‘‘ Is that your 
mackintosh ? ” and Wallace, stooping down and finger- 
ing it, said, “ Yes, it is mine.” You will notice that that 
was what he said at the time. Let me just draw your 
attention to this now. That mackintosh was there, 
covered with blood, it was also badly burnt : a lot of it, 
quite a large part of it, as you will see, was burnt. How 
does it come that that mackintosh was there, and that 
it was burnt ? Had it taken fire by accident ? If so, what 
from ? Had it been fired by someone on purpose ? If so, 
who had fired it ? This mackintosh was hanging up in the 
passage ; he had worn it that day. It is found there, 
against the body, with much blood upon it, and appar- 
ently rolled up and pressed against the body after some 
attempt had been made, if it was not an accident, to 
burn it. 

Just consider at this moment : Who had an interest in 
destroying that mackintosh ? Assuming that someone had 
broken into that house — there is no trace at all that any- 
one did, but assuming that they did, and then killed this 
woman, it is possible that such a person might have 
taken down the raincoat, and put it on to prevent the 
blood getting upon his clothes — perfectly possible, but, 
having done so, why should a stranger to her want to 
destroy the mackintosh ? Having done this foul deed, 



what concern would it be for a man of criminal intention, 
who had come in there and killed this woman, to destroy 
someone else’s raincoat ? You will see it ; you will form 
your own views as to how that came to be partly burnt, 
and you will have your own views, no doubt, as to what 
conclusion the condition of that leads you to. That is the 
position so far as that coat is concerned. It is his coat : an 
attempt has apparently been made, unless there was an 
accident in setting fire to it, to destroy it. You must 
remember, if the Prosecution’s theory is right, the creation 
of the necessary alibi would leave very little time for 
attention to detail. Let me say now, that so far as that 
coat is concerned there is plenty of blood upon that. 
There is no blood whatever to be found on the prisoner’s 
clothes, although there was blood in the sitting-room in 
great quantities, some pint and a half, I think, and 
although the person who did this deed clearly went up- 
stairs immediately afterwards, there is not the faintest 
trace of blood anywhere on the stairs. The man who 
broke that woman’s skull, the man who killed her, had 
left her in a pool of blood, and got upstairs without 
leaving the slightest trace, but in the lavatory, in the pan 
of the water-closet, there was a clot of blood, the same 
blood, as you will hear, as the woman’s who was dead 
downstairs. So although there is blood that drops in the 
batliroom there, the person who went up with it went up 
without leaving the slightest trace of blood anywhere, 
and that is the only trace whatever of blood upstairs. 
There was in the room there, and had been for some 
time, by the gas-stove, an iron sort of poker thing, like 
thdt^ amply sufficient to have done this deed. 

[Mr. Hemmerde held up for the inspection of the jury 
an iron poker.] 

Mr. Hemmerde then continued — All the time a certain 
woman who helped clean the house had been there, 


something of this sort had been by the fireplace. The day 
of this tragedy, it had gone. Whoever did this may 
perfectly well have done it with that weapon, and you 
may very well realise that anyone who did it with a 
weapon like that would have absolutely no difficulty in 
getting rid of it. A thing like that would go into the 
ground anywhere ; there is no difficulty at all. It was 
missing, and you ought to be told that, because appar- 
ently it was there the last time this witness had been 
there, and it had gone. She had been there, I think, on 
January 7th, and it was still there then. Now supposing 
that the person had gone up with this in his hand, it 
might well be that in washing upstairs something would 
have fallen into the pan of the water-closet ; that is next 
to the basin. I draw your attention to the fact that there is 
no blood whatever anywhere on the stairs — because the 
Crown suggest to you that in this case whoever did this 
deed was taking elaborate precautions. The history of 
our own criminal courts shows what elaborate precau- 
tions people can sometimes take. One of the most famous 
criminal trials was of a man who committed a crime 
when he was naked. A man might perfectly well commit 
a crime wearing a raincoat, as one might wear a dressing- 
gown, and come down, when he is just going to do this, 
with nothing on on which blood could fasten, and, with 
anything like care, he might get away, leaving the 
raincoat there, and go and perform the necessary washing 
if he was very careful. There was hot and cold water in the 
kitchen — running water. Whoever did this did not take 
advantage of that fact, but went upstairs, and, as I sug- 
gest to you, went upstairs with great caution. Now, the 
person who went upstairs also went into different rooms 
up there ; as you will hear, in the front bedroom, that 
they did not use, things were disturbed, clothes were 
thrown back on the bed, and a few hats there, but nothing 

Ew 65 


was taken ; and you may come to the conclusion, having 
heard the evidence, that the person who had disturbed 
that room without opening any of the drawers was not on 
robbery bent, but was merely creating appearances that 
someone had been there looking for something. That was 
the condition of that room. But in the room where they 
did sleep a very curious thing was found. You remember 
that there were said to be missing from downstairs. 
Upstairs, in a vase on the mantelpiece in the bedroom that 
they used, were five Treasury notes, and on one of them 
was blood. How did those get there ? What was the thief 
doing to take them up there ? 

Let me take the story up from where Mr. Johnston 
went for the police and Mrs. Johnston was left with the 
prisoner. At ten minutes past nine the police arrived. 
Mrs. Johnston tries to open the front door and fails. The 
prisoner comes and opens the door, and Police Constable 
Williams comes in. While the police were just examining 
the house, the prisoner turned to Mrs. Johnston and 
said, “Julia would have gone mad if she had seen all 
this ” — “Julia ” was the name of his wife. 

Now let Police Constable Williams continue the story. 
Wallace opens the door and says, “ Come inside, officer; 
something terrible has happened.’’ The police constable 
comes in, goes straight to the body, feels the pulse, finds 
no movement, and he says to the prisoner, “ How did it 
happen ? ” The prisoner says, “ I do not know. I left the 
house at a quarter to seven in order to go to Menlove 
Gardens. My wife accompanied me to the back door and 
walked a little way down the entry with me. She returned 
and bolted the back-yard door. She would then be alone 
in the house. I went to Menlove Gardens and found that 
the message I had received was wrong. Becoming sus- 
picious, I returned home.” 

But why on earth should he be suspicious ? Had his 



wife enemies ? How often must he have left his wife in the 
house alone ? While I am on that subject, why should 
anyone, in the next place, have tried to ring up an in- 
surance agent at the Chess Club, if the object was to get 
the agent’s wife alone, when there must be times without 
number when any observation of that agent’s movements 
would have left the field absolutely clear ? “ Becoming 
suspicious, I returned home. I went home, inserted my 
key, but could not open the door. I went round to the 
back of the house and found the back yard on the latch 
but not bolted. I hurried round to the back again, and 
this time found the back-kitchen door would open. I 
entered the house, and this is what I found.” 

The police constable then went upstairs with the 
prisoner into the middle bedroom. A gas jet was burning. 
The officer said, “ Was that light burning when you en- 
tered the house ? ” The prisoner said, “ I changed myself 
in this room before leaving the house, and probably I 
left the light on myself” Note that he had changed his 
clothes there before leaving the house. On the mantel- 
piece the police constable finds a small ornament from 
which were protruding five or six £i notes. The prisoner, 
taking hold of the ornament, partly extracted the notes, 
and says, “ Here is something which had not been 
touched.” The police officer requested him to replace 
the notes and the ornament, which he did. In the corner 
of the room there is a curtained recess, and, as the police 
constable approached it, Wallace says, “ My wife’s clothes 
are kept there ; they had not been touched.” When he 
had observed that, we do not know. They then went 
into the little laboratory, and Wallace said, Everything 
is all right here,” then into the bathroom, where there 
was a low light burning. The officer said, Is this light 
usually left burning ? ” and Wallace said, We usually 
have a low light here.” Then they went into the front 



bedroom. About its condition, you will hear the evidence ; 
I can only summarise it by saying that the condition was 
not one that suggested to experienced police officers that 
anyone had been searching, but that someone had been 
merely tumbling the room about. 

They then go downstairs into the kitchen, and the 
prisoner points out to this officer the cash-box, and says, 
“ There was about ^{^4 in the box and it has gone.” Then 
they go into the sitting-room, and Wallace proceeds to 
light the other light on the left ; the one I suggested it 
would have been more natural to light before. Then they 
go into the kitchen, and the kitchen window, which, as 
you remember, looks out into the yard, was covered with 
heavy curtains. The police constable pulls them aside 
slightly, to examine the window, and the police constable 
says, “ When you first came to the yard, did you notice 
any light shining through the curtains ? ” Wallace said, 
“ The curtains would prevent the light from escaping.” 
Note that from the yard, when he was saying he could not 
get in, he could not see whether there was or was not a 
light in the kitchen. The police constable said, “ I will 
try it,” and Wallace said, “ It is no use now, you have 
disturbed them.” 

At 9.50, Professor MacFall arrives ; he finds the con- 
dition that I have described to you, showing that one 
terrific blow had produced an open wound in front and 
must have caused death in less than a minute, but it 
seems as though terrific force had been employed with a 
hard instrument, and had driven in the skull in no fewer 
than eleven places, so whoever had done this had left 
nothing to chance. It was then, when Professor MacFall 
was there, that a search showed this blood-clot in the 
pan of the water-closet. He will tell you whose blood that 
was, from his observation, and he will also tell you that 
the condition of the body showed that death had taken 



place at least three hours previously. You will note that, 
because you will find it suggested at one time by the 
prisoner that the reason why he could not get into the 
house at one time and could get into it at another was ; 
there must have been someone in the house who at some 
moment had released the back door. If this murder took 
place before seven o’clock, do you think it is likely, do you 
think it is even possible, that the murderer would have 
been still there some two hours later, and that nothing 
whatever should have been taken from the house except, 
as the prisoner suggests in one of his statements, I think, 
some small sum and a small cheque ? Is it likely that any- 
one would have remained there that time ? So the fact 
that will be spoken to by Professor MacFall and another 
doctor, that this woman had obviously been dead at 
least three hours, becomes of the greatest significance, as, 
of course, does the discovery that he made of the blood 
in the pan upstairs. And remember, not only had the 
thief, if it was a thief, the murderer who had come there, 
for some reason killed this woman, but he had taken down 
from 7 ft. 2 ins. high a cash-box with a broken lid, he had 
left in it a dollar bill, and had taken some other things, 
and apparently, having gone upstairs, had put the same 
amount of money in a vase on the mantelpiece, which 
does not look very much as though his object was robbery. 
There was no attempt made to rifle the drawers, to go 
where the dresses of the deceased were — nothing of that 
sort at all. 

Let me take the next stage. Professor MacFall arrived 
there at 9.50. At 10.5, Detective-Superintendent Moore 
arrived, and certain important matters happened then. 
On his arrival he made a thorough examination of the 
house, and he will tell you that the furniture in the sitting- 
room was apparendy undisturbed, everything being in 
the position one would expect, even to the hearth-rug. 



On going into the kitchen he saw the accused and asked 
him how he had found the house on his return. Wallace 
replied as follows : “ I was called, by telephone, to a 
business appointment at 25 Menlove Gardens East at 
7.30 to-night. I went there, but could not find the address. 
I hurried home. I tried the key in the front door, but the 
key would not act. I went round to the back door, but 
could not open it. I returned to the front door, again 
tried the key, which would not act, went round to the 
back door, which opened easily, and met Mr. and Mrs. 
Johnston and asked them to wait while I came in. I 
found my wife murdered in the parlour, and this just as 
you see it ” — pointing to a small cabinet, the door of which 
you will see was broken off. He then pointed to the cash- 
box, which you have already seen, and said, ‘‘ About £4. 
has been stolen from that box, which included Si £i 
Treasury note, three 10^. Treasury notes, about thirty 
or forty shillings in silver, a cheque, and a postal order ; 
that was my company’s money.” On the floor Superin- 
tendent Moore found a half-crown piece and two separate 
shilling pieces. He also asked the accused where he found 
the cash-box, and he said, “ Where it is now.” Super- 
intendent Moore thereupon took down the cash-box, took 
off the lid, found in one of the compartments an American 
dollar bill, and then said to the accused : “ I cannot 
understand why a thief should go to all this trouble fixing 
the lid on and putting the box back on the shelf where he 
had found it ” ; and you may think that that was a 
remark that any one of you might have made. Picture a 
man coming in there, bent on stealing whatever he could 
find, taking down a cash-box with a loose lid from a height 
of 7 ft. 2 ins. from the floor, finding there was very litde 
in it, and then, instead of just throwing it down or leaving 
it where it was, putting the lid on, and carefully putting 
it up where it had been before. 



Then Superintendent Moore asked the accused to go 
upstairs with him, and he examined the house and went 
into the little laboratory. There the prisoner said, ‘‘ I 
cannot say that anything is missing.” Then they went 
into the middle bedroom, and then into the far bedroom. 
While there, the prisoner told him, “ I do not think we 
have been in this room for a fortnight.” Then Super- 
intendent Moore went downstairs and examined the lock 
very carefully — the one which the prisoner said would not 
work. He asked the prisoner for his door-key and tried 
the lock, and found that it would turn to a certain point, 
but if the key was turned too far round the lock would 
slip and the door would be again locked. A person has 
to know the lock to be able to do it each time. He pointed 
this out, and found that he could do it quite easily. He 
said to the accused, I could open the door all right, but 
the lock is defective ” ; and the accused said, ‘‘It was 
not like that this morning.” You will hear that it must 
have been like that for a very long time. 

Then they went into the sitting-room, and made a 
further examination, and then Superintendent Moore 
asked the accused if the blinds were drawn when he 
entered the room. The accused said, “ Yes ; I lit a match 
and put the gas on.” The Superintendent said, “ Did you 
not scream or shout ? ” He said, “ No ; I thought she 
might have been in a fit. I lit the gas to go to her assist- 
ance, but of course I found that she was dead.” A little 
later, Superintendent Moore called the accused into the 
sitting-room, and, pointing to the mackintosh, said to 
him : “ Is this your mackintosh ? ” At first he just put 
his hand to his face, stooped a little, and looked at the 
body, and did not answer. Then the officer said, “ Had 
Mrs. Wallace a mackintosh like that ? ” and again the 
accused made no reply. Then Superintendent Moore said 
to another officer, “ Take it up and let us have a look at 

7 ^ 


it,” whereupon he did so. Then Superintendent Moore 
said, “ This is a gent’s ” ; then the accused got hold of it, 
and said, “ If there are two patches on the inside, it is 
mine.” He thereupon found the two patches and said, 
“ It is mine ; I wore it this morning, but the day turning 
out so fine I wore my fawn coat this afternoon. Of course 
it was not burned like that when I wore it,” whereupon 
the officer said, “ Where did you leave it ? ” He said. 

Hanging in the hall, at half past one. There was a rug 
in the hall opposite the parlour door.” 

A little later, Detective-Sergeant Bailey arrived, and, 
after making an examination, went with the prisoner and 
Inspector Gold to Anfield Bridewell, and there Wallace 
made a statement. 


‘‘Tuesday, January 20th, 1931. William Herbert 
Wallace says : I am fifty-two years of age, and by occupa- 
tion an Insurance Agent for the Prudential Assurance 
Company, Dale Street. I have resided at 29 Wolverton 
Street with my wife Julia (deceased), age believed fifty- 
two years, for the past sixteen years. There are no children 
of the marriage. My wife and I have been on the best of 
terms all our married life. At 10.20 a.m. to-day I left the 
house, leaving my wife indoors, doing her household 
duties. I went on my insurance round in Clubmoor 
district, my last call being 177 Lisburn Lane, shortly 
before 2 p.m. I then took a tram-car to Trinity Church, 
Breck Road, arriving at my house at 2.10 p.m. My wife 
was then well, and I had dinner and left the house at about 
3.18 p.m. I then returned to Clubmoor and continued 
my collections ; finished about 5.55 p.m., my last call 
being either 19 or 21 Eastman Road. I boarded a bus at 



Queen’s Drive and Townsend Avenue, alighted at 
Cabbage Hall and walked up to my house at about 6.5 
p.m. I entered my house by the back door, which is my 
usual practice, and then had tea with my wife, who was 
quite well, and then I left home at 6.45 p.m., leaving by 
the back door. I caught a car from Belmont Road and 
West Derby Road, and got off at Lodge Lane and Smith- 
down Road and boarded a Smithdown Road car to 
Penny Lane. I then boarded another car up Menlove 
Gardens West, looking for 25 Menlove Gardens East where 
I had an appointment with Mr. R. M. Qualtrough for 
7.30 p.m. in connection with my insurance business. I 
was unable to find the address and I enquired at 25 
Menlove Gardens West and I also asked a constable at 
the bottom of Green Lane, Allerton, about the address. 
He told me there was no such address. I then called at a 
post office near the Plaza Cinema, to look at the directory, 
but there was none there, and I was unable to find the 
address. I also visited a newsagent, where there was a 
directory, but I was unable to find the address. It was 
then 8 p.m. and I caught a tram-car to Lodge Lane, and 
then a car to West Derby Road and Belmont Road and 
walked home from there. I arrived at Wolverton Street 
about 8.45 p.m., and I pulled out my key and went to 
open the front door and found it secure and could not 
open it with my key. I knocked gently, but got no answer. 

I could not see any light in the house. I then went around 
the back ; the door leading from the entry to the back 
yard was closed, but not bolted. I went in to the back door 
of the house and I was unable to get in. I do not know 
if the door was bolted or not, it sticks sometimes, but I 
think the door was bolted but I am not sure. There was a 
small light in the back kitchen, but no light in the kitchen. 

I then went back to the front. I was suspicious because 
I expected my wife to be in and the light on in the 



kitchen. I tried my key in the front door again and found 
the lock did not work properly. The key would turn in it, 
but seemed to unturn without unlocking the door. I rushed 
around to the back and saw my neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. 
Johnston, coming out of 31 Wolverton Street. I said to 
them, ‘ Have you heard any suspicious noises in my house 
during the past hour or so ? ’ Mrs. Johnston said they 
hadn’t. I said then I couldn’t get in and asked them if 
they would wait a while while I tried again. I then found 
the back kitchen door opened quite easily. I walked in by 
the back kitchen door. I found the kitchen light out. I lit 
it and found signs of disturbance in the kitchen. A larder 
case, in which I keep photographic stuff, had been broken 
open and the till was on the floor. I then went upstairs 
and entered the middle bedroom, but saw nothing un- 
usual. I then entered the bathroom but it was correct, and 
I entered the back room and found no disturbance there. 

I then entered the front room, struck a match, and found 
the bed upset, the clothes being off. I don’t think my 
wife left it like that. I then came down and looked into 
the front room, and after striking a match I saw my wife 
lying on the floor. I felt her hand and concluded she was 
dead. I then rushed out and told Mr. and Mrs. Johnston 
what had happened, saying something but I cannot 
remember what I did say. After my neighbours had been 
in, Mr. Johnston went for the police and a doctor. I 
asked him to go. I afterwards found that about had 
been taken from a cash-box in the kitchen but I am not 
sure of the amount. When I discovered my wife lying on 
the floor I noticed my mackintosh lying on the floor at the 
back of her. I wore the mackintosh up to noon to-day, but 
left it off owing to the fine weather. My wife has never worn 
the mackintosh to my knowledge. You drew my attention 
to it being burnt, but it w£is qpjt like that when I last saw 
it and I cannot explain it. I have no suspicion of anyone, 



There was a dog whip with a lash in the house which I 
have not seen for twelve months, but I have not found it up 
to now. It was usually hung on the hall-stand. The h^ c 
was of wood twelve inches long and one inch thick.’’ 

Now, having made that statement, you will notice that 
what he says there about the way the lock worked was 
what the police officer had pointed out to him, but not 
what he had pointed out to the police officer. The state- 
ment continued as follows : “ When I left the house at 
6.45 p.m. on Tuesday night my wife came down the back 
yard with me as far as the yard door ; she closed the 
door. I do not remember hearing her bolt it.” You will 
remember that that is not what he said on the earlier 
occasion. He then said his wife had walked a little way 
down the entry with him. You may think it very curious 
that in a matter where you would have thought every 
detail of that last meeting would have been clear in his 
mind he should have given those two different accounts. 

We then pass to a rather important matter on the next 
day. At about 10.20 that evening the prisoner met Mr. 
Beattie at the corner of Lord Street and North John Street, 
and the prisoner said to Mr. Beattie : “ About that 
telephone message, can you tell me at what time you 
received it ? ” Mr. Beattie said : ‘‘ About seven o’clock, 
or shortly after.” The prisoner said : ‘‘ Cannot you get 
nearer than that to it ? ” Mr. Beattie said ; “ I am sorry, 
but I cannot ” ; and then the prisoner used these words : 

“ It is of great importance to me ; I should like you to be 
more exact, more definite.” Now, why was it of great 
importance to him ? You may say because he had heard 
rumours that he might be connected with that call, and 
that he wanted to know what time the call was so that he 
might be able to say, perfectly properly, “ Oh, but that 
cannot be me, because at that time I was at so and so.” 



That might be a perfectly proper and reasonable explan- 
ation, although you may gather from the police that at 
that time they had certainly not given him any informa- 
tion that they thought he was the person who had rung 
up. It is possible that he may have thought that there 
was a danger of their thinking so, and might have said 
to himself : “ Well, if that telephone message came when 
I was at so and so, there is an end of the case.” It might 
be perfectly proper. It is only when you follow out what 
happened afterwards that you can see the full significance 
of this remark, because on the next day, at half-past six, 
Detective-Superintendent Moore and Detective-Inspector 
Gold saw him at the police office in Dale Street, and Mr. 
Moore said : “You saw Mr. Beattie of the Chess Club 
last night ? ” and the prisoner said, “ Yes, on the footway 
in Lord Street while I was waiting for a tram.” Then Mr. 
Moore said : “You asked him about the telephone 
message and about the time he received it ? ” The 
prisoner said, “ Yes.” Then Mr. Moore said : “ You told 
him the time was important ? ” The prisoner said, “ Yes.” 
Mr. Moore said : “ In what way did you mean the time 
was important ? ” and the prisoner said, “ I have an 
idea, we all have ideas, it was indiscreet of me.” You 
see, he does not know what I suggest might have been a 
possible explanation, and a simple one. “ I have an idea, 
we all have ideas, it was indiscreet of me.” Mr. Moore 
said : “ I wish you would tell me what your idea was ; it 
might help me with the enquiry.” The prisoner said : “ I 
cannot explain any further. I recognise now it was an 
indiscretion on my part.” Now you may think that that 
request to Mr. Beattie, and this subsequent conversation 
with the police rather suggests that the prisoner at that 
time was already very much on the defensive. Why 
should he imagine himself in any danger ? It is true that 
on the night of the murder one of the police officers had 



said to him, '' Why should a thief take the trouble to put 
the lid on that cash-box and put it up again there ? ” 
and it might have made a man think, He cannot be 
suspecting me,” and yet see that something of the sort 
might be passing through the officer’s mind, because if it 
was no thief, who was it? But what does he mean by 
saying, when he has asked what might have been a 
perfectly simple question of Mr. Beattie, I have an 
idea, we all have ideas, it was indiscreet of me ” ? If the 
facts are, as the Crown suggest, that it was indiscreet of 
him, that was an admirable description of that conversa- 
tion. There is one other curious feature about that 
conversation with Mr. Beattie. That was not all he said. 
He said to Mr. Beattie that he had just left the police when 
he asked those questions, and he said, “ They have 
cleared me ” ; and Mr. Beattie said, “ Is that so ? I am 
pleased to hear it.” “ They have cleared me ” — you will 
hear from the police that at that time no charge whatever 
had been made against him, certainly nothing had been 
said to him to suggest that they had suspected him, and 
he was now cleared ; not at all. 

I think the next point of some slight importance is that 
on the 27th, that would be the Tuesday, he came to the 
Detective Office and said he wanted to go to his house to 
get some change of linen, I think, and Mr. Moore said to 
him : “ Did you speak to any person on the way home on 
the night of the murder, after leaving the tram-car ? ” 
and he said, “ No.” Mr. Moore said : “ Are you sure ? ” 
and he said, “ Yes, I am certain.” Mr. Moore then told 
him that a Miss Lily Hall had seen him speaking to some- 
one quite near his house at about 8.35 that night, but he 
persisted in his denial. Then, on the 29th, he made 
another statement, and this is the last one I think with 
which I have to trouble you. ‘‘ On Monday night the 
19th instant when I left home to go to the Chess Club, I 



think I went out by the back door and up the passage to 
Richmond Park, and then up Breck Road and got the 
tram at Belmont Road. I do not remember seeing anyone 
I know. I am not sure, but I have an idea that I posted a 
letter in the pillar-box opposite the library in Breck Road. 
I have a lot of correspondence and I have no special 
reason for remembering about whether or not I did post 
a letter that night because I post so many. When I re- 
turned home at 8.40 p.m. on Tuesday the 20th instant I 
went to the front door because it was my usual practice 
if I was out late at night. It was my usual practice to use 
the back door in daylight and if I went out by the back 
way after dark my wife usually came down the yard, and 
bolted the yard door after me when I went out. As far as 
I can recollect I do not know anyone named ‘ Hall ’ 
living in the neighbourhood of Wolverton Street or 
Richmond Park or any of the streets adjacent, but I have 
an idea that I have heard my late wife mention someone 
of that name in connection with Holy Trinity Church, 
but my recollection of that is very hazy. In the summer of 
1929, I remember my wife and I had been out for a walk 
and I had forgotten to take my key, and we had to borrow 
a key. Some years ago a man had a key that opened our 
door, because he used to drink and on several occasions 
he made a mistake and came into our house instead of his 
own.” What point there could be in telling of someone 
who had been dead for several years having a key I do 
not know. That, as I say, is the last statement. 

It was a few days after that, actually on February 2nd, 
that he was arrested, cautioned, and told that he was going 
to be arrested for the wilful murder of his wife, Julia 
Wallace, on January 20th, and he said : “ What can I say in 
answer to this charge of which I am absolutely innocent? ” 

Now I have very litde more to say. You will hear in 
detail a great deal more, but there are just a few points 


or any jury to pay too much attention to motive. Motive 
may be of great importance in helping you to find out 
who is the likely man to have done something, but sup- 
posing, to take an extreme case, you saw a murder com- 
mitted, you would be unimpressed if somebody said 
to you afterwards, ‘‘ But there was no motive for his 
doing it ” ; you would say, I cannot help that ; I saw 
it.” So if, although there is no motive apparent to the 
Crown or apparent to you, the facts seem to you to point 
irresistibly to the conclusion that he did it, motive has 
nothing to do with the question. And what are the facts ? 
A woman of fifty- two living in a small house in compara- 
tively humble circumstances. What enemies was she likely 
to have who would come and crash her to death like that 
with some iron bar, who would trick her husband out of 
the way so that they could complete the work, who have 
any motive in the world for committing this atrocious 
crime against this woman left alone that night ? In all 
cases of criminal charges, and above all in murder, you 
have got to be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that 
the person charged is guilty, and you must not be led away 
by this coincidence or that coincidence, or slight mis- 
descriptions or slight inconsistencies in evidence : you have 
got to be satisfied, looking at the thing unusually care- 
fully, and above all fairly in the prisoner’s interests, that 
you do not lay too much stress on points for which ex- 
planation can be given. But you start here with a case of 
a woman who apparently could have had no enemies in 
the world ; you start here with a case where there is no 
suggestion that anyone could have thought there would 
have been much money in the house, and where it is not 
suggested that much money was taken ; and, indeed, 



apparendy the person who did the murder must have 
handled the notes that appear in the middle bedroom 
upstairs, because there is blood upon them ; therefore, 
surely it is incredible that money had anything whatever 
to do with this ghastly tragedy. And when you eliminate 
money, what are you left with ? That someone did this 
woman to death in that room almost certainly wearing 
that raincoat ; that that someone tried to destroy that 
raincoat. Who would have any interest in destroying it, 
any casual person who came ? If any of the persons whose 
names I have not disclosed to you, who might possibly 
have persuaded this woman to let them in, had done this 
crime, why should they have wanted to tamper with or 
destroy the raincoat in which they had done this murder ; 
who has any interest in doing so ? If you thought that 
raincoat bore signs of there being an attempted destruc- 
tion, and the person who is in the room there who has 
done this deed, and who takes upstairs some bloody trace 
of his deed — there is not a sign of it anywhere on the stairs, 
not a sign of anything except just where a man might be 
cleaning his weapon or his hands, one drop of blood — of 
this woman’s blood — why should a thief, why should 
someone have come into that house, and wanting to wash, 
have not used the running water in the kitchen opening 
just out of this room ? Someone who went up there went 
for some purpose ? You will hear there is no evidence that 
there has been any attempt to rifle drawers or dresses, 
and so on, upstairs with the view to robbery, but some 
evidence that the things had been hurtled about, just to 
show that someone has been pretending to look for some- 
thing. You will hear the evidence and you will form your 
own conclusions, and you will have to consider who can 
have done this thing, who would be likely to do it, who 
if he had done it would have gone upstairs, would have 
known the economy of the house, who would have taken 



care that nothing would appear on the stairs, or indeed 
outside that room ? — because remember, if this case is 
true that the Crown seeks to lay against this man, you are 
dealing with no ordinary criminal who in a moment of 
hate and passion strikes a foul blow : you are dealing 
with a man who must have cunningly planned the whole 
thing. The man who rang up the night before, if he was 
the murderer, must have cunningly planned to get this 
man away ; or, if it was the prisoner himself, he must 
have cunningly planned to create the best possible alibi 
for himself the next night. 

The woman is seen at half past six, twenty minutes 
later Wallace has gone. The doctors come three hours 
later, at 9.50. Professor MacFall will tell you that the 
woman had been dead at least three hours ; she must have 
been dead about the time that he left the house. Do you 
think someone was waiting outside to see him go ? 
Which side would he be waiting, the back or the front ? 
Someone waiting to see him go, then comes straight in, 
takes the iron bar, and kills this woman. Look at the 
probabilities, and you must look also, to some extent, at 
the demeanour of the man. Look at these careful en- 
quiries, and, if I may say so, the over-emphasis, up in the 
Menlove Gardens district, and on his way there as to 
what he was going to do, that he was going to Menlove 
Gardens East, an address that did not exist. Look at 
that ; and then when he comes back there is the difficulty 
of getting into the house. 

When you have heard the evidence of the police and the 
locksmith you may form your own views as to whether 
there was ever any difficulty in getting into the house. 
The difficulty evaporated the moment Mr. and Mrs. 
Johnston were on the premises and he goes in, and he 
goes into every room, apparently, except the room where 
his life’s companion is lying dead. Then, there is not the 

Fw 81 


cry of horror, calling out to the Johnstons to come in. 
He comes out, and he says, “ She is dead ; come and see,” 
and you will hear as to how he was behaving the rest of 
that evening. You will hear as to whether he showed the 
signs of the broken-hearted husband, or whether he 
remained, apparently, all through extremely cold and 
collected. You will have to consider all these matters, and 
consider them absolutely fairly and impartially between 
the Crown and the prisoner. 

I have had to open these facts at some length to you 
because you must know exactly what the story is, the 
burden that the Crown is attempting to prove in this 
case. If you think that the evidence laid before you leads 
irresistibly to the conclusion beyond all reasonable doubt, 
that this man, for some reason that we cannot define, 
killed his wife that night, you will have no hesitation in 
doing your duty. If, on the other hand, you say : In the 
absence of all motive we find there is, or think there is, 
some reasonable doubt, you will have no hesitation then 
in doing your duty. The case, as I say, is a difficult one and 
a painful one. All I can do is to set out to you the facts 
upon which we rely. The matter will be for you to deter- 
mine, whether the evidence which the Crown will lay 
before you really supports this charge of murder. This is 
not a case where you will be in any way concerned with 
other possible verdicts such as manslaughter. If this man 
did what he is charged with doing, it is murder foul and 
unpardonable. Few more brutal murders can ever have 
been committed — this elderly, lonely woman literally 
hacked to death for apparently no reason at all. Without 
an apparent enemy in the world, she goes to her account, 
and if you think that the case is fairly proved against this 
man, that brutally and wantonly he sent this unfortunate 
woman to her account, it will be your duty to call him to 
his account. 




Harry Hewitt Cooke, an official photographer, testi- 
fied as to certain photographs he had taken in connection 
with the crime. 

William Henry Harrison, surveyor to the Liverpool 
Corporation, gave evidence as to his survey of the house, 
29 Wolverton Street, and produced plans of the house and 
the surrounding district. 

Leslie Heaton, examined by Mr. Walsh — I am a tele- 
phone electrician. There is a telephone call-box at the 
junction of Rochester Road and Brcckfield Road, Anfield. 
There is a public telephone call-box in the Public Library 
in Breck Road. There are several other call-boxes in that 

Mr. Justice Wright — Public ones ? — Yes, but they 
are not as public as this one, inasmuch as the kiosk is fitted 
on a site of its own, and the other call-boxes are on en- 
closed premises. 

Mr. Walsh — They are either in the library or in shops ? 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — Is that 
call-box lit up at night ? — No, I do not think it is. 

There is no light in it ? — No, 

When somebody gets into it to use it, I suppose the light 
comes up, does it not ? — No. 

You are saying it definitely ? — If the light is there it 
does not come up. When the person goes into the box it 
will be alight. 

Mr. Justice Wright — How can he do anything in the 
darkness ? What is the general position about these 
kiosks ? — Usually where there is no light it is usually 
illuminated by lights which may be in the vicinity. 



Lillian Martha Kelly, examined by Mr. Walsh— 
I am a telephone operator, engaged at the Anfield Tele- 
phone Exchange. I remember the night of January 19th. 
About a quarter past seven I received a call from the 
call-box Anfield 1627 for Bank 3581. It was quite an 
ordinary voice. It was a man’s voice. He said, ‘‘ Operator, 
I have pressed button A, but have not had my corres- 
pondent yet.” I did not have any further conversation 
with the person in the box. I afterwards connected 
Anfield 1627 with Bank 3581. 

Gladys Harley, examined by Mr. Walsh — I am a 
waitress at the City Cafe, 24 North John Street, Liverpool. 
I was on duty at the cafe on January 19th last. I heard the 
telephone ring between seven and eight, and I answered it. 

What kind of voice was it ? — Just an ordinary voice. 
A man’s voice. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — How big is 
this caf6, is it a big place ? — Yes. 

And there are a lot of tables ? — Yes. 

There is a chess club which uses some of the tables on 
certain days ? — Yes. 

There are some notices up, are there not ? — Yes, on the 

Whereabouts are they ? — By the telephone box. 

It is not far from the door ? — No. 

Samuel Beattie, examined by Mr. Hemmerde — I am 
a cotton broker’s manager, and I am a member of the 
Liverpool Central Chess Club which meets at the City 
Caft, North John Street. I am the captain of the club. 
The club meets two evenings, on Mondays and Thurs- 
days, during the winter. I have known the accused for 
about eight years. 



Was he in the habit of attending on one or both of those 
days ? — He was not what we call a regular attender. We 
may say, most likely one, sometimes two. If there was 
a match on, he might come two nights a week. 

Do you know whether he had been there recently before 
January 20th ? — I should not think so, but I do not know 
definitely because we break up for the Christmas recess, 
and then the members after Christmas are uncertain as 
to when they resume playing operations. 

Is one able to tell from looking at the board, a 
photograph of which I have here, exactly when people 
will be there ? — No. It is when they are scheduled to 
be there, but it does not follow that they will be there ; 
they should be there. 

On that board will appear when they ought to be 
there ? — Quite. 

What time in the evening does it meet generally ? — It 
is an open cafe, and play must commence, the match 
games, by a quarter to eight ; but they can commence 
earlier if they arrange to do so. 

On January 19th, what time did you get to the caf6 ? — 
About six o’clock. 

Some time later, do you remember the waitress, a Miss 
Harley, speaking to you ? — ^Yes. 

Did you go to the telephone ? — I did. 

Mr. Justice Wright — About when was that ? — Seven, 
or shortly after seven. 

You took no notice of the time ? — No, my Lord. 

It was shortly after seven ? — Yes, my Lord. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Having gone there, did you hear 
someone speaking ? — I did. 

A man or a woman ? — A man. 

What sort of voice ? — A strong voice, a rather gruff 

Did you take a message firom the person ? — I did. 


Rather later did you see the accused in the cafe ? — 
I did. 

About what time was that ?— About half an hour after 
I had received the message, say a quarter to eight. 

Had you seen him come in ? — I had not. 

When you saw him, what was he doing ? — He had 
commenced to play a game with an opponent named 

Did you speak to him ? — ^Yes. 

What did you say to him ? — I said : “ Oh, Mr. Wallace, 
I have a message for you.” 

Did you tell him where the message was from ? — Yes. 
“ I have a message for you.” He said, “ Oh, who from ? ” 
I said, “ From a man named Qualtrough,” and he said, 
“ Qualtrough, Qualtrough, who is Qualtrough ? ” 

Did you tell him how the message had come ? — ^Yes, by 
’phone ; it was a telephone message. 

Did you spell the name ? — No, I cannot quite say that 
I spelt the name to him, but I gave it to him written down 
on an envelope on which I had taken it. I had taken 
particulars at the ’phone. 

You had taken it down as R. M. Qualtrough, 25 
Menlove Gardens Ecist, Mossley Hill ? — Yes, quite. 

So he said, “ Qualtrough, Qualtrough, who is he ? ” — 

What did you say ? — I said, ‘‘ Well, if you do not know 
who he is, I do not.” 

Did you tell him what Mr. Qualtrough wanted ? — Yes, 
I said, “ Mr. Qualtrough said that he wished to see you 
to-morrow evening at 7.30,” and I told him the address, 
“ 25 Menlove Gardens East. He says it is something in the 
nature of your business.” 

When you said that, what did he say ? — He said, I 
don’t know the chap. Where is Menlove Gardens East ? 
Is it Menlove Avenue ? ” I said, ‘‘ No, Menlove Gardens 



East.” Then he asked, “ Where is Menlove Gardens East ? ” 

What else did he say about that ? — He did not know 
where the place was, Menlove Gardens East, so I said, 
“ Wait a moment, I will see whether ” (and I men- 

tioned the name of another member) “ knows where 
Menlove Gardens East is.” 

Who was it you were to ask ? — A man named Deyes, 
another member of the club. I said, “ I will see whether 
Deyes knows where it is.” 

You knew roughly where it was ? — I knew Menlove 
Avenue West. 

When you told him it was a bad place to be knocking 
about in the dark, and so on, what did he say ? — He said, 
“ I belong to Liverpool. I can find out, or I have a tongue 
in my head,” or words to that effect. 

So far as you were concerned that is all you saw of him 
that evening ? — Quite. 

Did you actually see him make the entry in his diary as 
to the address ? — He did write the address down. 

But you did not notice more ? — I did not notice more. 

Did you see him again on January 22nd, two or three 
days later? — Yes. 

Were you just leaving the cafe ? — Yes, I was leaving the 
club, and was going to catch my car at the corner of 
Lord Street, and I met him at the corner of Lord Street. 

What time ? — About 10.20 at night, after the club was 

Did you speak to him ? — My attention was drawn to the 
fact that he was there by a man named Caird, who said, 

Mr. Beattie, he is here,” and I saw him standing there. 

What did he say to you ? 

Mr. Justice Wright — You went to him, I suppose ? — 
Yes, we recognised one another, and then he said, ‘‘ Oh, 
that telephone message, can you remember definitely 
what time you actually received that message ? ” I said, 



“ Well, seven or shortly after.” His reply was, Cannot 
you get a bit nearer than that ? ” I said : “ I am sorry but 
I cannot,” and he said, “ Well, it is important to me, and 
I should like to know if you can get nearer to it than 
that,” and I said, “ I am sorry, I could not.” 

Mr. Hemmerde — After you said you could not help 
him there, what did he say next ? Did he say where he had 
come from ? — Yes, he said he had just left the police. In 
the course of the conversation, he said, “ I have just left 
the police ; they have cleared me.” 

What did you say to that ? — I said, “ I am very pleased 
to hear it, very pleased.” 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — First of all, 
with regard to the club notice-board, do you recognise 
that as a photograph of the notice that was on the board 
during January this year ? [Same handed.] — Oh, yes. 

Was your Chess Club divided into classes, Class i and 
Class 2, and was there a third ? — Yes. 

Was Mr. Wallace in Class 2 ? — That was his class, 
I believe. 

Was this a notice concerning the Second Class Cham- 
pionship that was going on during those months ? — Yes. 

I find Mr. McCartney and Mr. Wallace were both in it, 
and a Mr. Chandler, — Yes. 

According to this, was Mr. Wallace posted on that 
board as being due to appear on January 19th ? — Yes. 

So, so far as the notice is concerned, for the month of 
December he was not due to appear after the 15th, but 
he was due to appear on January 5th, and again on the 
19th ? — Yes. 

Any person using the caft who was interested in that 
information could see it ? — ^Yes. 

You say it is a club rule that you have got to start your 
match by a quarter to eight ? — ^Y es, that is the club rule. 


2 "'! Class Chatnpion5hip, 




It will be noticed that Wallace was expected to play a match on January 19th 


That is good enough for me. You have got to start at a 
quarter to eight, but you might start earlier ? — Yes, 

I am interested in the voice that addressed you on the 
telephone on this particular evening. How much conversa- 
tion did you have with it. Could you reproduce the 
conversation for us, do you think ? — Yes, partly. I can 
give you an idea of the conversation. 

The part I am interested in particularly is the part in 
which the voice told you about the business, whatever it 
was. Can you remember what the voice said about that ? 
— Yes. I told him that Mr. Wallace was coming to the 
club that night, and he would be there shortly, would he 
ring up again. He said, “ No, I am too busy ; I have got 
my girl’s twenty-first birthday on, and I want to see 
Mr. Wallace on a matter of business ; it is something in the 
nature of his business.” 

Something in the nature of his business, coupled with a 
reference to his daughter ? — That was the reason he was 
not able to ’phone Mr. Wallace himself later that night, 
because he was too busy with his girl’s twenty-first 

In addition to that conversation, I suppose he spelt 
for you the name Qual trough ” ? — Yes, at my request. 

And gave the address ? — ^Yes. 

And you had altogether quite a conversation with the 
voice ? — Yes, I should say so. 

You used an expression in your evidence at the police 
court about the voice which you have not used to-day. 
You said a strong and gruff voice to-day ? — Yes. 

At the police court you said it was a confident and strong 
voice. — That means it was not a hesitating voice, in 
answer to some question. 

Mr. Justice Wright — You used the words, It was a 
confident voice.” — Yes, in answer to a question; it was a 
confident voice, sure of himself. 



Mr. Roland Oliver — So far as you could judge, was 
it a natural voice ? — That is difficult to judge. 

I know it is, but did it occur to you it was not a natural 
voice at the time ? — No, I had no reason for thinking 

Do you know Mr. Wallace’s voice well ? — Yes. 

Did it occur to you it was anything like his voice ? — 
Certainly not. 

Does it occur to you now it was anything like his 
voice ? — It would be a great stretch of the imagination 
for me to say it was anything like that. 

Did Mr. Wallace ever suggest to you that he did not 
know Menlove Avenue ? — No. 

Menlove Gardens might be anywhere along Menlove 
Avenue, I suppose, to a man who did not know where it 
was ? — Quite so. 

I want to know what his demeanour was when you gave 
him this message in the Chess Club. First of all, was he 
playing a game of chess ? — Yes. 

Did he appear to be interested in his game ? — Yes, he 
was just thinking out the opening move. 

Did he appear to be interested in it ? I think you said 
absorbed in it at the police court ? — I had to attract his 

As a fact, the game lasted till ten minutes past ten that 
night ? — I understand so, I am told so. 

Do you know whether he went out ? — Yes, he did. 

You did not see him leave ? — Oh, no. 

If it is right that the game went on to ten past ten, it 
would mean he had a struggle for something like two and 
a half hours and then won ? — ^Yes, quite. 

Re-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — Can you tell me 
what these figures mean on this Second Class Champion- 
ship fixture ? Why is there a different figure against each 



of these people ? — You notice it is allotted out and there 
are dates, and each player is given a number, and his 
number then is placed in a date against another 
opponent ? 

Mr. Justice Wright — Does that mean on January 
igth, No. 6, that is the prisoner, would be meeting No. i, 
that is Mr. Chandler ? Is that it ? — Yes, my Lord. 

I asked the simple question, does that mean that he 
was playing with Mr. Chandler that night ? — Yes. 
According to our arrangement he should have played with 
Mr. Chandler that night. 

And he was playing with Mr. McCartney ? — Yes. 

Mr. Hemmerde — You often find a number of these 
people do not turn up, I suppose ? — ^Yes. They do not 
turn up, and the dates have to be rearranged. 

Mr. Hemmerde — I can tell your Lordship now, there is 
no light fitted in that telephone box at all. The nearest 
light is twenty-four feet away. 

Mr. Justice Wright— You can call the evidence. 

James Caird, examined by Mr. Walsh — I am a 
member of the Chess Club, and I know the accused well. 
I live within a few minutes of his house. I have known him 
about fourteen or fifteen years. I remember going to the 
Chess Club on January 19th. I arrived about 7.35. 

What time did the accused arrive ? — I should think 
about 7.45. 

I understand that you asked him to play a game but he 
refused ? — Yes, that is so. 

And he played a game with Mr. McCartney ? — That 
is so. 

A little later, did you go with Mr. Beattie to speak to the 
accused ? — Yes, I did accompany Mr. Beattie. 

Did you hear Mr. Beattie say anything to him ? — ^Yes, 
he said he had a message for him. 


From whom ? — From somebody of the name of 
Qual trough. 

Did he say where he had got the message ?— Over the 

Can you remember what the accused said in answer 
to it ? — Well, he was a second or two before he took any 
notice, and then he looked up and said, “ Qualtrough ! 
I do not know anybody of that name.” 

Did Mr. Beattie say anything then ? — Mr. Beattie said, 
‘‘ Well, if you do not, I do not.” 

Was there some discussion then as to where this address 
was ? — Yes. 

Did you hear Mr. Beattie say anything to the accused 
as to where it was ? — It was at Menlove Gardens East. 

Did you hear him say where Menlove Gardens East 
was, or Menlove Avenue ? — He was trying to explain 
he did not know where Menlove Gardens East was. As 
a matter of fact, nobody in the Club knew where Menlove 
Gardens East was, but we knew it was in the Menlove 
Avenue district. 

Did you hear the accused say anything to Mr. Beattie 
after that discussion, and, if so, what did he say ? — He ssdd 
he had a tongue in his head and he could ask when he got 
in the vicinity of the district. 

That night you went home with the accused and a 
Mr. Bcthurn ? — Yes. 

And you and the accused got off the car at Belmont 
Road ? — Yes. 

And you walked towards home ? — That is right. 

Did Mr. Wallace say anything to you while going 
home ? — He talked about winning the game that he had 
played with Mr. McCartney, and seemed very pleased 
at having done so. 

Did he say anything about this message that he had 
received ? — Not until we got very close home. 



Then what did he say ? — He said, Qualtrough ? 
Have you heard of that name before ? ” I said, “ I have 
only heard of one person of the name of Qualtrough.’* 

Anything else ? — Then we discussed about going out to 
Menlove Gardens East, and I proposed that he should 
go on the bus from Queen’s Drive, but he said he would 
take the most direct course and go into town, and from 
there out to Menlove Avenue. 

Did he say whether he was going to go ? — No, he was not 
sure about going. He said if he did go that was the way 
he would go, but he was not sure about going at all. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — Do you 
know what time Mr. Wallace finished his game that 
night, or about what time ? — Well, it would be about a 
quarter to ten, because I do not think he played any other 
game afterwards. The cafe keeps open to ten or a quarter 
past, and it was near the end. 

I am instructed it was nearly half past. — It may have 
been, but I could not say about that. 

Did you notice anything wrong about his manner 
that evening ? — Nothing whatever ; he was just his usual 

You have known him for fifteen years ? — Yes. 

What sort of a man is he as known to you ? — Well, a 
man who is intellectual, and varied in his habits of study, 
and that sort of thing. 

With regard to his behaviour, is he a violent person or 
what ? — Oh, no, not at all, a placid man. 

Have you ever seen any signs of violent temper about 
him, or anything like that ? — Nothing whatever. 

Would it be right to describe him as a studious man ? — 

You knew his wife, did you not ? — ^Yes. 

And family ? — Yes. 



Are his habits known to you scientifically ?— Yes. 

He has some kind of laboratory fixed up in his house ? — 
Yes, in the back room he had a chemical laboratory. 

Do you know that at one time or other he was giving 
lectures ?— Yes, in the technical school in Byrom Street. 

And playing a violin ? — Yes, he was only a beginner at 

And chess ? — Yes. 

How long had you known his wife ? — Well, not quite 
that long. 

But a good many years ? — ^Yes, years, as to how long I 
could not exactly say. 

Have you seen them often together ? — Yes. I have met 
them many a time. I used to meet them in the park and in 
the street. 

Would it be right to say, so far as you know, they were 
generally together when he was not at work ? — Oh, yes. 

So far as their relations were concerned, were they 
happy ? — Yes. 

So far as you could observe ? — So far as I could see. 

You have never seen anything to the contrary ? — 
Nothing whatever. 

At any rate, you visited him, and that was as recent as 
last year ? — Yes. 

Were their relations still just the same ? — ^Yes, quite good. 

Would it be fair to suggest that from your observation 
they were a devoted couple ? — ^Yes. 

Would that be putting it too high ? Use your own 
phrase. — ^Well, I should say they were a happy couple, 
a very happy couple. 

Re-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — Can you tell us as 
to which of them seemed more interested in the other ? — 
I should think it was about even. 

You think it was ? — Yes. 


James Edward Rothwell, examined by Mr. Hem- 
MERDE — I am a police constable of the Liverpool City 
Police Force. I have known the accused as a collector for 
the Prudential for about two years. I saw him on January 
20th, about 3.30, in Maiden Lane. 

How was he dressed ? — He was dressed in a tweed suit, 
and a light fawn raincoat, a mackintosh. 

Mr. Justice Wright — raincoat? — ^Yes, my Lord. 

Mr. Hemmerde — ^What was he doing ? Did you notice 
anything about him ? — His face was haggard and drawn, 
and he was very distressed — unusually distressed. 

What signs of distress did he show ? — He was dabbing 
his eye with his coat-sleeve, and he appeared to me as if 
he had been crying. 

Had you ever seen him like that before ? — I have never 
seen him like that before. 

Were you quite close to him ? — Quite close to him ; I 
passed him. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — You did 
not take any notice of this until after you heard there 
had been a murder ? — I did take notice of it when I see 
him coming along the road. 

You did not say anything about it until after you heard 
there had been a murder ? — Yes. 

I wonder if it occurred to you that your eyes could 
water in the cold. Has that ever happened to you ? — Yes. 
It is quite possible. 

And you might rub them ? — ^Yes, quite possible. 

What I am suggesting to you is that you are mistaken 
in thinking that the signs you saw were signs of distress 
occasioned by committing a crime ? — No, I do not think 

Although you never spoke to him ? — He gave me that 
impression, as if he had suffered from some bereavement. 



If I were to call about twenty-five people who saw him 
that afternoon about that time, or round about that time, 
and they said he was just as usual, would you say they had 
made a mistake ?— No. I should stick to my opinion. 

Alan Croxton Close, examined by Mr. Walsh — I 
am fourteen years of age. I deliver milk from my father’s 
dairy. I knew Mr. and Mrs. Wallace of 129 Wolverton 
Street. I delivered milk at their house for about two 
years. I remember the night Mrs. Wallace was murdered. 
I delivered milk there that night at half past six. I remem- 
ber the time ; because when I passed Holy Trinity Church 
it was twenty-five minutes past six, and it takes me five 
minutes to get to Mrs. Wallace’s. When I delivered the 
milk, it was taken in by Mrs. Wallace. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — ^When you 
are doing your round in the ordinary way, do you always 
walk as fast as you can ? — Not always. 

If you see any friends in the street, do you sometimes 
have a chat with them ? — Not often. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Did you meet anybody that 
day ? — I met a girl, and said, “ Hullo ” ; that is all. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^You met Elsie Wright in 
Latchworth Street ? — Yes. 

Did you pass the time of day with her ?— No, only just 
said, “ Hullo.” 

Mr. Justice Wright — You did not stop ? — Yes. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — It was Elsie Wright ? — Yes. 

If Elsie Wright says that the time was then something 
like twenty to seven, you would not agree with her. Is 
that right ? — No, sir. 

When Mrs. Wallace spoke to you when you gave her 
the milk — I suppose she took the milk in at the door ? — 



Did she go into the house leaving you standing there ? 
— No. I knocked at the door and left it, and went to Mrs. 
Johnston ; and when I came back she had taken it in. 

Mr. Justice Wright — ^You never saw her then? — I 
saw her when she came back. 

You say you knocked at the door and left it on the step 
and went somewhere else ; that was next door ? — ^Yes. 

And then you say you came back to pick up the can ? 
— Yes. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^You leave it in a can ? — ^Yes. 

She takes it in, empties the can, and either hands the 
can back or puts it down outside ? — She gave it to me 

Into your hands ? — ^Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Then you saw her when she 
gave it to you back ? — Yes, my Lord. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Did she tell you to hurry up 
home because you had got a cough ? — Yes. 

And did she not say she had one too ? — I do not 

She might have ? — She might have. 

I suppose the next day you heard of the murder, did 
you not ? — Yes. 

Re-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — Did you know that 
it was said in the papers that the prisoner had left at 
6.15 ? — ^Yes. 

I suppose you know whether it was 6.30 or 6.45 ? That 
was after 6.15 ? — Yes. 

Are you quite clear you remember seeing the clock 
6.25 before you went to the dairy on your way there ? — 

Thomas Charles Phillips, examined by Mr. Hem- 
merde — I am a tram conductor in the employ of the 




Liverpool Corporation. On January 20th, I was at the 
junction of Smithdown Road and Lodge Lane with my 
car at 7.6 or 7.10. I remember, that evening, having a 
conversation with the accused. 

Was that before you started or after you had started 
from Lodge Lane ? — Before and afterwards. 

Before you started, what did he say to you ? — He 
asked me if the car went to Menlove Gardens East, and I 
said, “ No, you can get on No. 5, 5A, 5W, or a No. 7 

When you told him that, did he get on the car ? — ^Yes. 

What did he say to you ? — He said that he was a 
stranger in the district, and that he had some important 
business or calls and he wanted Menlove Gardens East. 

A little later, did you go to collect your fares ? — Yes. 

And did he again say something to you ? — ^Yes, he 
asked me again about Menlove Gardens East. 

Do you remember the exact words he said then ? — I 
think he said, “ You won’t forget, mister, I want Menlove 
Gardens East.” 

I think you punched him a penny ticket, and went on 
to collect lares ? — Yes. 

When you came down again, did he speak to you 
again ? — Yes. He said something to me again about 
Menlove Gardens East, and I told him to change at 
Penny Lane. 

That was the third time he had spoken to you ? — ^Y es. 

When you got to Penny Lane, what did you do ? — I 
shouted, “ Menlove Gardens, change here,” and I looked 
around and saw him on the No. 7 car in the loop, heading 
for Calderstone, and I told him that if he hurried he 
would get that car. 

Either would go there ? — ^Yes. 

And you saw him go towards the Calderstone car ? — 



The witness was cross-examined and re- 
examined as to the times taken by his car 
on the route named. 

Arthur Thompson, a tram conductor in the employ- 
ment of the same Corporation, was examined by Mr. 
Walsh — I boarded my car at Penny Lane at 7.15 on 
January 20th. We then left for Calderstones. 

Did one of the passengers speak to you ? — Yes, a pas- 
senger sitting on the left-hand side of the car spoke to 
me just after leaving Penny Lane. 

Can you recognise that passenger ? — I believe it is the 

What did he ask you ? — ^Whether I would put him off 
at Menlove Gardens East. When the car arrived at Men- 
love Gardens West, I beckoned to the prisoner, and I 
pointed out Menlove Gardens West, and said : “ That is 
Menlove Gardens West ; you will probably find Menlove 
Gardens East is in that direction.’’ 

When you described it, what did he say ? — “ Thank 
you, I am a complete stranger round here.” 

Katie Mather was examined by Mr. Walsh — I am 
the wife of Richard Mather, and I live at 25 Menlove 
Gardens West. 

Do you remember the evening of January 20th ? — Yes. 

Was there a knock at your front door ? — No, a ring. 

And you went to the door and saw a tall, slight man ? 

What did he ask ? — He asked if a man of the name of 
“ Qualtrough ” lived there, and he asked me if that was 
Menlove Gardens East. 

Mr. Justice Wright — I suppose you said, “ No ” ? — ^ 
Yes, my Lord, and then he went away. 



The witness stated in cross-examination that 
extensive building developments had taken 
place in the district. 

Sydney Hubert Green, a clerk, gave evidence that he 
spoke to the accused in Menlove Gardens West. He told 
him there was no such place as Menlove Gardens East, 
and the accused then said he would try No. 25 Menlove 
Gardens West. 

James Edward Sargent, a constable of the Liverpool 
City Police, examined by Mr. Hemmerde — I was on 
duty round about Menlove Gardens and Green Lane on 
January 20th. I left the Allerton Police Station at 7.40, 
and crossed over to the junction of Green Lane and 
Allerton Road. 

When you were there, did someone come up to you ? — 

Who was that ? — It was the accused. 

What did he ask you ? — He said, “ Do you know, or can 
you tell me, of Menlove Gardens East ? ” I said, “ There 
is no Menlove Gardens East ; there is a Menlove Gardens 
North, South, and West.” He said, “ I have been to 
Menlove Gardens West, No. 25. The person I am looking 
for does not live there, and the numbers are all even,” and 
I suggested to him he should try 25 Menlove Avenue. He 
said, “ Whereabouts is it ? ” I said, “ In the second or 
third block ” ; and I then said, “ It is the third house in 
the second block.” He said, “ Thank you,” and turned as 
if to go away, and said, “ Do you know where I can see 
a directory ? ” I said, “Yes, you can see one down Aller- 
ton Road, or, if you do not see one down there, you can 
see one down at the police station,” which I pointed out 
to him. 

Or at the post office ? — Or at the post oflSce. 



Had he said anything to you about who he was ? — He 
said, “ I am an insurance agent looking for a Mr. Qual- 
trough who rang up the club and left a message for me with 
my colleague to ring Mr. Qualtrough up at 25 Menlove 
Gardens East.” 

Was anything said about the time ? — Yes. He then 
said, ‘‘ It is not eight o’clock yet,” and pulled out his 
watch. I also did the same. He said, ‘‘ It is just a quarter 
to.” I glanced at my watch, and said it was a quarter to. 
He then left, and walked across down Allerton Road, I did 
not see the accused afterwards. 

The witness was cross-examined as to the 
order in which he had given evidence on 
a previous occasion at the police court. 

Lily Pinches, examined by Mr. Walsh — I am the 
manageress of a newsagent shop, 130 Allerton Road. On 
January 20th the accused came into my shop after eight 
o’clock in the evening. He asked for a directory. 

When he got it, did he say anything ? — No, not till 
after he had looked through it. 

What did he say then ? — He asked me did I know what 
he was looking for, and I said, “ No.” He said, No. 25 
Menlove Gardens East.” 

What did you say ? — I said there was no 25 Menlove 
Gardens East ; there was only South and West. 

Then, I understand, you looked up your account book ? 

And you found there was a 25 West ? — No, they are not 
customers of our shop. 

Did the accused say anything then to you ? — No. 

After you had said there was no 25 West in your account 
book, did he say anything ? Did he say he had been there? 
— ^When I told him we had no 25 West, he said he had 
been there, and it was not the people he wanted. 



Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — Your shop 
is a newspaper shop ? — Yes. 

Is the post office in Allerton Road, besides being a post 
office, a shop ? — Yes. 

What sort of a shop ? — A sweet shop. 

That is open when the post office is shut ? — Yes. 

And if you went in and asked for anything after the 
post office is shut, would you get it ? — I do not know ; it 
would depend on the post office being closed. 

At any rate, you could get into it ? — Yes. 

How long was the prisoner in your shop, do you think ? 
— Ten minutes. 

Let us see how clear your recollection about it is. How 
long after eight do you say he arrived ? — About ten 
minutes after eight. 

When he arrived ? — ^Yes. 

Arriving at ten minutes past eight, and stopping ten 
minutes, he would leave at twenty past, would he not ? — 

Is that what you think he did ? — Yes, but I do not know 
the exact time. 

No, not the exact time ? — No. 

Do you remember giving your evidence before ? You 
said it was a good while after eight o’clock when he 
arrived ? — Yes. 

Has anyone spoken to you about that ? — No. 

You did not give it in the same way as to-day. You said 
‘‘ It was after eight but I do not know when”? — No, but 
I know it was a while after eight ; it was after eight 

I am suggesting you are utterly wrong about it. Do you 
know how far it is from your shop to Wolverton Street ? — 
No, I do not know where Wolverton Street is. 

It is in another part of Liverpool altogether, and you 
cannot help me with regard to the time it would take. 



Did he not tell you he wanted to look at the directory in 
order to find a man named Qualtrough ? — No. 

Did he ever mention that name to you ? — No. 

Are you sure ? — ^Yes. 

He was in your shop for ten minutes ? — ^Yes, about that. 

Do you remember everything that was said ? — ^Yes. 

Let me suggest to you, he said : ‘‘ I am trying to find 
a man named Qualtrough in 25 Menlove Gardens East,” 
and you said, “ There is no Menlove Gardens East ” ? — 
He did not mention no name. 

Are you sure about that ? — ^Yes. 

We have been told that he was mentioning that name to 
everybody else ^ — No, he did not mention no name. 

You swear he did not mention it to you ? — No. 

To the lady at No. 25, to the clerk in the street, to the 
policeman, everybody else. How long did he sit and look 
at the book before he said anything to you about it ? — 
Only just a few minutes. 

Studying the book ? — Yes. 

Do you really say that, after studying the book, he said 
to you, “ Do you know what I am looking for ? ” — Yes. 

Did you think he was a long time ? — No. 

How could you know what he was looking for ? — I 
would know no more than anybody else would know. 

Re-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — Are you quite clear 
those were the words he used ? — Yes. 

Have you seen anyone at all since the police court pro- 
ceedings in connection with the case ? — No. 

How soon afterwards did you give this information at 
all, do you remember ? How soon after were you seen by 
the police ? — About a month afterwards. 

Joseph Crewe, examined by Mr. Hemmerde — Is your 
name Joseph Crewe ? — Yes. 



1 you are a superiiitendeiit in the employ of 4e 
l^dential Assurance Company ?~Yc8. 

And you live at 34 Green Lane, Mossley Hill, Liver- 
pool ? — ^Yes. 

1 think the accused has been under your supervision for 
some twelve years ? — ^Yes. 

Did you go and live at your present address some three 
and a half years ago ? — I went there three and a half years 

Had the accused visited you there ? — Yes. 

How many times altogether ? — Five times. 

Some time ago did he suggest anything to you about 
music ? — Yes. 

What was it ? — Well, he suggested he would like to play 
the violin, and asked me if I knew anything about it, and 
I said I knew a little bit. 

Did you play yourself? — Yes, I did, and I went with 
him to buy one. I asked him who was going to teach him, 
and he said he did not know, but he was going to get one, 
and I said I would give him a few lessons till he got one. 

You undertook or suggested you should give him a few 
lessons ? — That is right. 

How many lessons altogether did you give him ? — Five. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Did he come to your house to 
get them, or how ? — He came to my house, my Lord. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Apart from those lessons, did he come 
at any other time ? — No. 

What time of day used he to come ? — I should say about 
half past seven. 

What time of year was it he came ? — In the winter. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Which winter, this winter or 
last ? — No. It is about two years ago. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Have you ever been at his house ? — 


Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — Did you, as 
a matter of fact, know whether there was a Menlove 
Gardens East or not ? — Menlove Gardens are behind the 
main road, and I would suggest very few people, only 
those that reside in those Gardens, ever came through 

Just answer my question. Did you know whether there 
was such a place or not ? — No. 

How long have you known Mr. Wallace ? — Twelve 
years and a few months. 

What is your opinion of his character ? — An absolute 
gentleman in every respect. 

Have you ever seen any sign of violence or ill temper 
about him ? — None whatever. 

Scrupulously honest ? — Absolutely. 

What about his accounts, were they always in order ? — 
Always to a penny. 

There was no question of his ever being wrong in his 
accounts ? — None whatever. 

Did you know his wife ? — Yes. 

Have you been to their home and seen them together ? 

What do you say about their relations with each other ? 
— The best possible. 

Is there any possible foundation for suggesting that he 
was indifferent to her as far as appearance went ? — None 
whatever. I suggest that Mr. Wallace appeared to be very 
fond of her. 

I think the phrase you used before was, that ‘‘ they ap- 
peared to be all in all to one another ” ? — That is so. 

With regard to the violin lessons, were they five weeks 
running ? — Yes, five weeks running. 

What part of the year was it ? — I could not tell you the 
month, but I know it was during the winter. 

I mean, was it after dark that he came ? — Yes. 


Was his job in life collecting money for the Prudential ? 

How long had that been his job ?— Fifteen years. 

When he had collected the money, did he account to you 
for it ? — He accounted to the office each week. 

What did he do with the cash ^ — Keep it. 

How did he get rid of it eventually ? — He had to remit 
it each week. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Remit where ? What do you 
mean? — Remit the cash to the District Office in Dale 

Mr. Roland Oliver — You mean hand the cash over 
to the District Office ? — ^Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright — What day of the week ? — Wed- 
nesday and sometimes Thursday. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Was Wednesday the normal 
account day ? — Wednesday was the normal day. 

Would the account include the Wednesday’s money, 
or only the Tuesday’s money ? — It would include the 
Wednesday morning. 

At any rate, anyone who knew him, or knew about his 
habits or employment, might expect him to have the 
bulk of his cash by Tuesday night ? — Yes. 

What sort of sum would he collect, because they were 
not always the same, but, ordinarily, what sort of sum 
would he be collecting a week ? — Anything from ^^50 to 
sometimes over £100. 

Sometimes over ^{^loo ? — Yes. 

This district, I gather, would include Menlove Gar- 
dens ? — No. 

He would have a district, I suppose, somewhere round 
his home ? — Yes. 

Would he have any right to have business in such a 
district as Menlove Gardens ? — Every right. 

Just tell us why that would be right ? — Because he is 



only restricted to his own area for industrial premiums, 
that is weekly premiums ; for any other class of business 
he can go where he likes. 

You mean for such a thing as a proposal for an endow- 
ment policy ? — Yes, he can go where he likes. 

Something has been said about a twenty-first birthday. 
Do people sometimes give endowment policies to their 
children ? — Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Ordinary life policies ? — He 
could do that anywhere in the country. 

Re-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — Do I understand that 
the money was collected by him all the week, and then 
paid over at the end ? — By whom ? 

By any Prudential agent ? — ^Yes. 

That is so, and by the prisoner it would be similarly 
collected ? — Yes. 

You cannot help us, perhaps, as to what his cash returns 
were per week ? — I can. 

Mr. Justice Wright — ^What ought to be the proper 
return for the week ending the 19th ? — The proper return 
should have been about ^£^30. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Not necessarily by the Tuesday 
night ? — No. 

They would collect also on the Wednesday morning ? — 

Lily Hall, examined by Mr. Hemmerde. — Lily Hall, a 
typist, said that she had known the accused, by sight, for 
three or four years. She last saw him on January 20th, at 
the bottom of the entry to Richmond Park. 

Mr. Hemmerde — What time was that? — ^About twenty 
to nine at night. 

Was Mr. Wallace alone there ? — No. 

Who was he with ? — ^Talking to a man. 



Could you see them quite clearly ? — Yes. 

Was it light there ?— There was a lamp further along. 

As you crossed over to Latchworth Street, what was the 
last thing you saw ? — They parted. 

And where had they gone ?— One went straight along, 
and one down the entry. 

Could you see which one went down the entry and 
which one went along towards Breck Road ? — No. 

Have you any doubt about it being the accused ? — No. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — How often 
did you see him ? — Not very often. 

I suppose you saw a good many other people about the 
streets ? — Yes. 

You never gave those a thought at the time, did you ? — 

No, why should you ? Then there was a murder. How 
long after the murder did you give your statement to the 
police ? — I think it was about a week, but I am not quite 

[The Court adjourned.] 



John Sharpe Johnston, examined by Mr. Walsh 
— You are an engineer, and you live at 358 Townsend 
Avenue, Liverpool ? — Yes. 

Did you move there in January last from 31 Wolverton 
Street ? — Yes. 

You lived next door to the prisoner ? — Yes. 

I understand you have not seen Mrs. Wallace this year ? 

Do you remember the night she was murdered ? — Yes. 

At about a quarter to nine you were going out of your 
house ? — Yes. 

You were with your wife ? — ^Yes. 

How do you know the time ? — By the clock before I 
came out. 

When you are looking at your front door in Wolverton 
Street, Mr. Wallace’s door is on the left of your door ? — 

So, looking at the back door, his back door is on your 
right ? — That is right. 

Which way out did you go that night ? — The back way. 

Can you say whom you saw when you went out ? — As 
I opened the door, to let Mrs. Johnston go out, Mr. 
Wallace just passed. 

Had he come from the top of the entry, the top of the 
passage ? — From the Breck Road end. 

Tell me exactly what you mean by “ passed ” ? Was he 
hurrying, walking, or running ? — Walking, in the ordinary 
way, towards his back door. 



Did your wife say something to him ? — My wife said, 
‘‘ Gk)od evening, Mr. Wallace.” 

Did you think there was anything unusual from his 
manner ? — He seemed anxious when he asked Mrs. 
Johnston a question. 

When your wife had said, Good evening, Mr. 
Wallace,” what did he say ? — He said, ‘‘ Have you heard 
anything unusual to-night ? ” 

Then what did your wife say ? — She said, No — why ? 
What has happened ? ” 

Did Mr. Wallace say anything ? — Yes. He said he had 
been round to the front door, and also been to the back, 
and could not get in, the doors were fastened against him. 

What did you say to him then ? — I suggested that he 
tried the door again, as if it was the back door, and if he 
could not open it, I would get my key of my back door and 

Whereabouts were you when this conversation took 
place ? — We were all standing in the entry, before the door 
into the entry had been opened. 

When you said, ‘‘ Try again ” and you would see, what 
did he do ? — He went up to the door. 

Did Mr. Wallace say anything when he went in, or 
when he went up the yard ? — ^When he got to the door, he 
called out, “ It opens now.” 

Were you able to hear, from where you were, whether 
he tried with his key or anything ? — No, he did not seem 
to try the key ; he seemed to turn the knob in the usual 

And said, “ It opens now ” ? — Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Could you see ? — Yes ; I could 
see him at the door, my Lord. 

And it seemed to open quite easily ? — Yes. There was no 
violence in the action of opening the door. 

Mr. Walsh — D id you notice anything about the house 



while you were waiting outside ? — Yes ; the light in the 
middle bedroom was low, and the small one in the back 

Mr. Justice Wright — In the middle bedroom the 
windows look on to the yard ; you would see them ? — Yes, 
my Lord. 

Mr. Walsh — Did you hear anything when Mr. Wallace 
had gone in ? — ^After he entered the house I heard him 
call out twice. 

Did you hear what it was ? — No, I could not make out 
the name. 

Mr. Justice Wright — He called out something ? — 
Yes ; a word. 

Mr. Walsh — Did you notice anything else ? — ^Yes ; just 
after he called out, the light was turned up in the middle 

Mr. Justice Wright — You could not say, I suppose, 
where he was when he called out ? — I should say he would 
just be at the top of the stairs, my Lord. 

Mr, Walsh — Did you notice anything else after the light 
had been turned up ? — ^Yes ; a match, I think, had been 
struck in the small room, at the top of the stairs, which 
looks into the entry. 

What happened then ? — Shortly after, Mr. Wallace 
came out into the yard. 

Can you say how long after, or give a rough idea ? — 
Do you mean after the light was struck ? 

Yes, after the light was struck ? 

Mr. Justice Wright — After the match was struck, how 
long was it before Mr. Wallace came out into the yard ? — 
I would say a minute and a half at the most. 

Mr. Justice Wright— A very short time. 

Mr. Walsh — ^A minute and a half after, he came out ? — 

Mr. Justice Wright — Can you give any idea how long 



it was after he went into the house that he called out 
twice ? Have you any idea about that ? — It would take 
about the same time, my Lord. 

Then I will say, “ After about a minute and a half.’’ It 
is only rough, of course ; a short time you mean ? — Yes a 
short time. 

Mr. Walsh : Did he run out, or just walk out ? — He 
hurried out. 

What did he say ? — He said, “ Come and see ; she has 
been killed.” 

Are you sure that is what he said ? — ^Yes. 

What was his manner when he said that ? — He seemed 
a bit excited. 

When he said that, did you go into the house ? — Yes ; 
we all went in. 

You and your wife ? — Yes. 

What did you see ? — Mrs. Wallace lying on the floor. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Y ou all went in, through the 
kitchen into the sitting-room ? — Yes, my Lord, right into 
the front room. 

Mr. Walsh— J ust say exactly what you saw. — As we 
went in, I saw the body lying diagonally across the room, 
the feet towards the fireplace and the head towards the 

Have you seen these photographs ? [Indicating.] — Yes. 

Just take that in your hand. [Photograph handed to 
the witness.] 

Look at photograph No. 7. Is that how she was lying ? 
■ — No, she was not like that when I went in ; there was no 
mackintosh when I was there. 

I want you to tell me, if you can, how far her head 
would be from the door ? — The position of the head, when 
we were all in, I should say was eighteen inches from the 
edge of the door. 

Was there a light on in the room ? — ^Yes. 



Which one was it that was lit? — The light near the 

To the right hand . . . ? — Of the fireplace. 

How near the body did you go ? — Well, I stooped down 
after I got into the room, and the wife also stooped down. 

What did you do when you stooped down ? — I just 
looked over the body. 

Then what did your wife do ? Did she do anything ? — 
Yes, my wife held Mrs. Wallace’s hand. 

Which hand ? — The left hand. 

You went out then, I understand, the three of you ? — 
Yes, we went out. 

WTiere did you go ? Into the kitchen ? — Into the 

WTiat did the accused say when you went into the 
kitchen ? — He pointed to a lid on the floor, which he said 
belonged to a cabinet, which had been wrenched off. 

What did he say ? — Then he reached up on to a shelf 
and took a cash-box down. 

Is that the cabinet there ? [Same produced.] — I only 
saw the lid. 

Is that the lid ? [Indicating.] — The lid was lying this 

He pointed that out, and said it had been wrenched 
off ? — Yes. 

When he had taken down this cash-box, what did he 
say ? — I asked him if anything was missing. 

And then ? — He replied, ‘‘ About but he could not 
say exactly until he had seen his books. 

Did you say anything else to him ?— Yes ; I said, ‘‘ Will 
you look upstairs and see if everything is all right before 
I go for the police and the doctor ? ” 

Did he go upstairs ? — ^Yes. 

How soon did he come down ? — Up and down imme- 
diately ; he did not stay any length of time at all. 




Then, when he came down, what did he say?— He 
said, “ There is ^5, in ajar, they have not taken.” 

Then, I understand, you left for the police ?— Yes, I 
went for the police. 

Can you tell me what his attitude, his demeanour, was 
during this time, after he had gone in with you from the 
yard into the front room and gone into the kitchen, and 
reached down this cash-box ? — He appeared to me as 
though he was suffering from a shock. He was quiet, 
walking round ; he did not shout or anything like that. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — Did you 
ever see the Wallaces together ? — Yes. 

So far as you could judge, what were their relations ? 
— A very loving couple, very affectionate, I thought. 

You never heard any quarrelling going on ? — No, 

As you go into this house, you go into the kitchen, do 
you not ? — Yes, through the back kitchen. 

Through the back kitchen into the front kitchen ? — 

Just outside the front kitchen door there is a staircase ? 
— Yes, facing the front door. 

I do not say you heard him go up, but you know he 
went up from what you saw ? — Yes. 

And did you hear him call a word ? — Yes, twice. 

Might that have been a name ? — It might have been. 

The name of his wife ? — ^Y es ; but until that evening I 
did not know Mrs. Wallace’s name was Julia. 

I only want to get the sort of sound. It was as if he was 
calling a name ? — Yes, that is how it appeared to me. 

When he went up to the back door to go in, as I under- 
stand, he said at once, “ It opens now ” ? — Yes. 

And there was no pretence of fumbling or pushing, or 
anything of that kind ? — Nothing whatever. 



He went straight in ?— Straight in. 

With regard to the distance of Mrs. Wallace’s head from 
the door, of course the door was on its hinges ? — Yes. 

When you gave that distance of eighteen inches, do you 
mean from the edge of the door when the door was open ? 
— The door would be like that, and Mrs. Wallace’s head 
is about here. [Illustrating.] 

Would you look at the photograph No. 6 ? Do you see 
that her feet are touching the fender, or just about touch- 
ing the fender ? — Yes. 

She was not a tall woman, was she ? — No. 

Florence Sarah Johnston, examined by Mr. Walsh. 
— This witness gave evidence similar to that of her hus- 
band as to the meeting of Wallace on the night of January 

Mr. Walsh — When Mr. Wallace went in to try the door 
again, did you hear him say anything ? — Yes, he looked 
over his shoulder, and said, “ She,” meaning Mrs. Wallace, 
“ will not be out ; she has such a bad cold.” 

Mr. Justice Wright — When did he look over his 
shoulder ? — Going up the yard. 

Did you hear any sounds from him while he was in the 
house ? — No, I heard nothing. 

Mr. Walsh — And he went towards the door ? — Yes. 
He would be just by the scullery window when he said 

He said, She will not be out because she has a bad 
cold ” ?— Yes. 

He got up to the door ? — ^We could not see the door 
from where we stood, you see, and Mr. Wallace appeared 
to put his hand on the knob to try it, and he called out, 
“ It opens now.” 

When Mr. Wallace had gone in, did you notice any- 
thing about the house ? — ^We saw the lights, in the back 



bedroom over the living-room, turned up, and then a 
match, apparently, or a light of some kind, flickered in 
the little room, the little workshop. 

Then how soon would it be after that match had 
flickered when Mr. Wallace came out ?— I should say two 
or three minutes. 

Was it a long time ? — Well, it seemed, of course, a very 
long time. 

When he came out to you, what did he say ? — Come 
and see ; she has been killed.” 

What was his manner when he came out and said 
that ? — In a distressed tone, his words, and very hurried, 
you know. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Do you mean agitated ? — Yes. 
Mr. Walsh — You followed him through the kitchen 
into the parlour ? — Yes. 

There what did you see ? — We saw Mrs. Wallace’s body 
lying on the rug. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Did you see a mackintosh any- 
where ? — I did not notice a mackintosh until Mr. Wallace 
drew my attention to it later. 

Mr. Walsh — What kind of light was on in the room ? 
— Just a fair light — of course not a brilliant light, but you 
could see everything in the room. 

What did you do when you went in ? — Mr. Wallace 
stopped at the other side of Mrs. Wallace and felt her 
hand, and I did the same. 

When your husband had gone for the doctor and the 
police, what did you and Mr. Wallace do ? — We were in 
the kitchen for a few minutes, and then Mr. Wallace 
returned to the sitting-room ; I did also. 

Did you go together, or did Mr. Wallace go first and 
you follow some time afterwards, or what ? — Mr. Wallace 
went first ; I went right behind him, edmost all together, 
you see. 



What did Mr. Wallace do then ? — Mr. Wallace stooped 
over Mrs. Wallace, and he said, They have finished 
her ; look at the brains ; and I said, “ Whatever have 
they used ? ’’ glancing round the room. 

Did he say anything further, or do anything ? — Mr. 
Wallace rose, and came to the other side to leave the room, 
and he said, “ Why, whatever was she doing with her 
mackintosh and my mackintosh.” 

You say he came to the other side. Which side had he 
been on? — On the window side. 

He came round the body, and said, Whatever was 
she doing with her mackintosh and my mackintosh ? ” — 

When it was shown to you, and you saw it was a mack- 
intosh, did you remember if you had seen it there when 
you first went in ? — ^Well, it appeared to be something 
roughed up, you know ; I did not know really what it 
was. It was almost hidden under the body, you see. 

And he stooped down, and said, “ It is mine ” ? — ^Yes. 

You then went into the kitchen again ? — Yes. 

What kind of fire was there in the kitchen, can you 
remember, when you went in ? — Very nearly out ; just 
a few live embers. 

Was anything done about lighting the fire ? — ^Yes. I 
said, “ Well, we will have a fire.” I felt I must do some- 
thing ; inaction was terrible. 

Did the accused do anything about the fire ? — Yes, he 
assisted me. 

A little later there was a knock at the door, I under- 
stand ? — Yes. 

Did you try to open the door ? — Yes. 

Were you able to ?— No ; it is a different lock to mine, 
and I think I was agitated, and I drew back and let Mr. 
Wallace open it. 

And the police constable came in ? — ^Yes. 


Did Mr. Wallace, while the police were examining the 
house, say anything? — Yes, he did say, ‘‘Julia would 
have gone mad if she had seen all this ’’ ; meaning the 
strangers knocking about the house. 

Can you tell me what his attitude was the whole of this 
time ? Did he seem excited, or did he seem calm, col- 
lected, or what ? — At first he was quite collected. 

What do you mean by “ at first ” ? — Before my husband 
left for the police. 

He was quite collected ? — ^Yes. 

And then ? — Then, twice he showed emotion by putting 
his hands to his head, and he sobbed. 

Where were you when he did that ? — In the kitchen. 

Was there anybody else in ? — No. 

How long would it be that he was showing this emotion 
by sobbing ?— Just momentary. 

Apart from that, what was he like ? — He was mostly 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — With regard 
to that, did he appear to be like a man who was suffering 
from a shock before your husband left ? — Yes, to an 

It is very difficult to judge, of course, what is passing 
in other people’s minds ? — Manners are so different, are 
they not ? 

Twice, you say, while you were with him some time 
later, he broke down altogether ? — ^Yes, he sobbed. 

The two times you saw him break down were before 
the police arrived at all ? — Yes. 

During that time, did he not display emotion from time 
to time ? — ^Yes ; and then, if we were left in the kitchen 
alone, he appeared as if he would break down, and he 
seemed to pull himself together when a great many were 
knocking about. 



When the police came ?— Yes. 

He made an effort to control himself? — ^Yes, he made 
an effort to control himself. 

But when you were alone with him, before the police 
came, he showed signs of breaking down ? — Yes. 

You were with him a considerable time ? — Yes. 

Did you think there was anything suspicious about his 
manner from beginning to end ? — No, I did not. 

Were you a friend of Mrs. Wallace ? — Yes, as neigh- 

You liked her, did you not ? — Yes. 

I see that you have said that when you saw her dead 
you exclaimed, ‘‘ Oh, you poor darling ’’ ? — Yes, but it 
is a word I have never used except under strong emotion. 

I think I have only used it once, when I was very upset. 

So far as you know, were their relations together quite 
happy ? — Yes, as far as I know. 

Your two houses are absolutely touching each other ? — 

And I suppose you can hear what goes on in one house 
from the other ? — Yes. 

He said he was knocking ? — ^Y es. 

Did you hear that ? — Yes, I heard that knock. 

You heard knocking on the back door ; was that before 
you went out ? — Yes, just a few minutes. We were getting 
ready to go out. 

A few minutes before you went out ? — ^Yes. 

That would support his story so far, when he said that 
he knocked at the back door and could not get in and 
went round to the front ? — ^Yes. It was so usual we did 
not take any notice. 

What sort of a knock was it ? — Either with the fiat of 
his hands or his closed fist. 

In the sitting-room, did you see any spent matches, and, 
if so, where ? — ^Two spent matches, just in the doorway. 



By the body ?— Yes, close to the body. 

Did you see a match-box ? — Yes, oa a table near the 

Did you make any remark about it ? — Yes. I said to 
Mr. Wallace, ''Are those Mrs. Wallace’s matches?'' 
and he said, " Yes." 

Where were the two spent matches, near the body— the 
middle of it ? — No, near the shoulder. 

Two spent matches close together ? — Yes, and one spent 
match in the kitchen close to the doorway. I noticed that 
because we asked was the house lit, and Mr. Wallace said, 
No " ; and we had to light the kitchen and the sitting- 
room, and I particularly noticed the matches lying there. 
He said he had to light it ? — Yes. 

When you went into the house was the kitchen gas 
alight ? — Yes. 

And the blinds were drawn ? — Yes. 

So you could not see there until you got in ? — No. 

So you lit the kitchen and the sitting-room light ? — 

You say, when you first saw the mackintosh the body 
was on top of it ; is that right ? — Yes, it appeared so to 
me. There was very little of it to be seen, 

Mr. Justice Wright — It was not moved at all ? — No. 
Mr. Roland Oliver — That is what I wanted to ask 
you. Is that it ? [Handed to the witness.] — Yes. 

Mr, Justice Wright — ^You mean, from the first time 
you saw the body to the last time you saw the body, the 
mackintosh was in the same place ? — Yes. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — He never pulled it out from 
under the head ? — No, he only fingered it. 

Mr. Justice Wright — It was when you fingered it 
that you noticed it ? — Yes ; when he remarked on it 
I looked at it. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^When you looked at it, you 


unconscioxisly remembered that it had beea there all the 
time, although you had not noticed it ? — ^No, I had not 
noticed it. 

I ought to put something to you about what you said 
he said. The words you say he used were, Why, what- 
ever was she doing with her mackintosh and my mackin- 
tosh ?— 'Yes, that is exactly what he said. 

What I suggest he said was : Whatever was she doing 
with a mackintosh and my mackintosh ” ? — ^No, her 

There was only one across there ? — Yes, but I take it he 
possibly thought she had her mackintosh, and then he 
realised it was his — still, I do not know really what he 

It is almost the same thing, and it might be you arc 
mistaken — ‘‘ Whatever was she doing with a mackintosh 
and my mackintosh ” ? — ^Yes, it might be a mistake on my 
part ; he might have said “ a mackintosh,” but I am 
almost positive he said my mackintosh. 

Did you, later on in the evening, hear him acknowledge 
it to anybody else ? — Yes. 

Tell us how that was, and when it was ? — He was sitting 
in the chair in the kitchen. 

Mr. Justice Wright — That is later ? — Yes, after the 
police had arrived. A tall man — I should not recognise 
him-~-came to the doorway, and said, “ What about this 
mackintosh, Mr. Wallace ? ” and he said, ‘‘ Oh, it is 

Mr, Roland Oliver — Do you think it was possible, 
from the position it was in, that it had been thrown round 
her shoulders to go to the front door I could not say as 
to that. 

Mr. Justice Wright— You mean she had thrown it on ? 

Mr. Roland Oliver— Yes, to go and open the door ; 
that is my suggestion. 


The Witness— T hat was my idea ; I thought that was 
the object. 

You had the idea too ?— It just flashed across my 
mind) because it was a peculiar thing, a mackintosh, 

I quite agree — that the woman might have thrown it 
over her shoulders to go and open the door ? — Yes. 

Do you know that she had a cold ? — ^Yes. 

Did you know that she had seen the doctor, for bron- 
chitis, some ten days before ? — No, I did not, but I knew 
she had been very poorly. 

Williams was the first police constable to arrive ? — Yes. 
When he came, he was let in through the front door, was 
he not ? — Yes. 

I understand he first knocked, and you went to the door 
and could not open it ? — ^Y es. 

Then Mr. Wallace opened it ? — ^Yes. 

Do you know whether or not the door was bolted ? — 

I do not. 

If he says he undid the bolt, you would not contradict 
him, would you ? — I do not know whether he did, but 
I cannot remember that. 

Re-examined by Mr, Hemmerde — ^You say you knew 
the Wallaces as neighbours ? — Yes. 

Had you ever been in their house ? — Yes. 

How often ? — About three times. 

In how many years ? — Ten years. 

In ten years you have been in three times ? — Yes, in the 
front room only, where the body lay, the sitting-room. 

Were they both there on those three occasions, the two 
of them ? — No, only Mrs. Wallace. 

Have you ever seen them together in the house ? — No. 

I think you said, ‘‘ I would not have recognised it as a 
mackintosh ” ? — Yes. 

You said something about his stooping down. Can you 



remember, was the stooping down before or after he had 
said, Whatever was she doing with my mackintosh,’^ or 
‘‘ her mackintosh ” ? — He stooped on both occasions, the 
first time we were in the room and the second time. 

When he said, “ Why, whatever was she doing ” ? — 
That was just as we were leaving the room to go into the 

How far was he from it when he said that ? — From the 
body ? 

Yes ? — Quite close. 

What did he do ? — Stooped down and fingered the 
mackintosh, when I said, “ Is it your mackintosh ? ” 

Frederick Robert Williams, examined by Mr. 
Hemmerde — I am a police constable in the Liverpool City 
Police. On January 20th last, I was on duty in Anfield 
Road shortly after nine o’clock. In consequence of what 
I was told, I went to No. 29 Wolverton Street, and 
knocked at the front door. 

What happened ? — After a few seconds fumbling by 
somebody inside, the front door was opened by the 
accused. He said, ‘‘ Something terrible has happened, 

While the fumbling was on, did you hear any bolt with- 
drawn .^*—1 did not. 

You went into the house and into the sitting-room? — ^Yes. 

What did you see ? — In the sitting-room, on the mat in 
front of the fireplace, I saw the body of a woman, who 
I now know to be Mrs. Julia Wallace ; her head was 
towards the sitting-room, and her feet were towards the 
right-hand side of the fireplace. She was lying in a twisted 
position. I felt her right wrist, and could feel no pulsation. 

What was the flesh like ? — Slightly warm. 

What did you do then ?— I spoke to the accused, and 
said, “ How did this happen ? ” The accused said, “ I do 



not know. At 6.45 p.m., I left the house, in order to go to 
Mcnlove Gardens, and my wife accompanied me to the 
back-yard door. She walked a little way down the entry 
with me, and she returned and bolted the back-yard 
door. She would then be alone in the house. I went to 
Menlove Gardens, to find the address which had been 
given me was wrong. Becoming suspicious, I returned 
home, and went to the front door. I inserted my key in 
the front door, to find I could not open it. I went round to 
the back, round to the back-entry door ; it was closed, but 
not bolted. I went up the yard, and tried the back-kitchen 
door, but it would not open. I again went to the front 
door, and this time found the door was bolted. I hurried 
round to the back and up the back-yard, and tried the 
back-kitchen door, and this time found it would open. 
I entered the house and this is what I found.’’ 

Did you then proceed, accompanied by the accused, to 
search and examine the house ? — Yes. 

What did you find in the middle bedroom? — In the 
middle bedroom the gas jet was lit. I asked the accused 
if this light was burning when he entered the house. He 
replied : “ I changed myself in this room before leaving,” 

Did you notice anything on the mantelpiece ? — On the 
mantelpiece I noticed an ornament from which five or six 
£i notes were protruding. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Let me see the notes. [Same 
handed to learned counsel.] 

Mr. Hemmerde — Meanwhile, what did the accused 
do ? — The accused took hold of the ornament and partly 
extracted the notes, and said, “ Here is some money 
which has not been touched.” 

What did you do ? — I requested the accused to replace 
the ornament and the notes in their original positions, and 
this he did. 

What did you do next ? — ^To the right of the fireplace 



I noticed a curtained recess. I approached this, and the 
accused said : “ My wife’s clothes are out there ; they 
have not been touched.” 

Did you look in the recess ? — I looked in the recess, and 
apparently they were undisturbed ; they were all right. 

When you looked in that recess, did the accused say 
anything ? — The accused said, “ There appears to have 
been no one here.” 

Then, I think, there is a back room which has been 
converted into a laboratory ? — Yes. 

Did the accused say anything there ? — He said, ‘‘ Every- 
thing seems all right here.” 

Did you then go into the bathroom ? — Yes. 

Was there any light there ? — There was a small light there. 

Did you say anything to the accused ? — I am not quite 
sure whether I said, ‘‘ Was this light burning when you 
entered the house ? ” or, Is this light usually kept on ? ” 

What did he say ? — He replied : “ We usually have a 
light here.” 

Did you then go into the front bedroom ? — ^Yes. 

Was there a light there ? — No. 

What condition was it in ? — The room was in a state of 
disorder ; the bed-clothes were half on the bed and half 
on the floor ; there were a couple of pillows lying near the 
fireplace ; there was a dressing-table in the room, con- 
taining drawers and a mirror, and also a wardrobe ; the 
drawers of the dressing-table were shut, and the door of 
the wardrobe was shut. 

Nothing was open on the dressing-table or in the 
wardrobe ? — Nothing whatever. 

Where did you go then ? — We returned downstairs to 
the kitchen. 

When in the kitchen, did you notice anything ? — I 
noticed the door of a small cabinet had been broken in 
two pieces. 



Is that the cabinet and broken door? [Indicating.]— Yes, 
that is the cabinet, and that is the broken piece of the door. 

Did the accused point out anything to you ?— The 
accused pointed out to me a small cash-box, which was 
lying on top of the bookcase to the left of the fireplace. 

Did he say anything to you about it ? — He said there 
was about altogether and it was gone. 

Did he pick up anything else and show it to you ? — The 
accused picked up a lady’s handbag, which was lying on 
the chair near the table. 

Did he do anything with the bag ? — The accused opened 
the bag and took out a 3(^1 note and some silver. He did say 
something, which I do not remember, referring to his 
wife’s money. 

When you entered the sitting-room, as you were 
looking round, what did the accused do ? — The accused 
stepped round the body near the sideboard, and lit the 
left-hand gas-mantle. 

Did you then leave the room ? — We did. I closed the 
room door behind me. 

Up to that time, when you have just told my Lord and 
the jury that he lighted the other light, what had been 
the demeanour of the accused ? — He was cool and calm ; 
well, I thought he was extraordinarily cool and calm. 

After that you went into the kitchen, I think ? — Yes, we 
returned to the kitchen. 

Did you say anything to him there ? — I noticed the 
window of the kitchen was covered with heavy curtains ; 
these I slightly parted. I said to the accused, “ Did you 
notice any lights in the house when you entered ? ” He 
said, With the exception of the lights upstairs, the house 
was in darkness.” I then asked him, when he first entered 
the yard did he notice any light escaping through the 
curtains, and he replied that the curtains would not allow 
the light to escape. 



Did you ask him, or did he say whether or not when he 
went into the kitchen there was any light there? — He 
did tell me there was no light in the kitchen. 

When he entered? — ^Yes, when he entered. 

And it was after he said that, that you asked him about 
whether he had noticed anything when he came up the 
yard ? — Yes. 

A little time later, did you again enter the sitting- 
room ? — I did. 

And at that time had Police-Sergeant Breslin arrived ? — 
He had. 

When you went into the sitting-room, did you say any- 
thing to the accused ? — I spoke to both the accused 
and Police-Sergeant Breslin, and said, That looks like 
a mackintosh.” 

Where were you when you said, “ That looks like a 
mackintosh ” ? — I was inside the room. 

Were you standing up or sitting down ? — Standing up. 

When you said, ‘‘ That looks like a mackintosh,” what 
did the accused say ? — The accused was standing in the 
doorway. He looked into the hall, at the same time saying, 

“ It is an old one of mine.” 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — You say, 
when you said, “ This looks like a mackintosh,” he looked 
back into the hall, and said, Yes, it is mine ” ? — He 
said, “ Yes, it is an old one of mine.” 

Did he not add to that, “ It usually hangs here ” ? — 
Yes, he did say that. 

That is the explanation of his looking back into the 
hall ; you see that ?— Yes. I had just forgotten that for the 

Are you sure he said, “ my wife walked down the entry 
with me,” and not down the back yard ?— I am emphatic 
that he said she walked down the entry. 



With regard to the notes, do you say the accused 
fingered them to this extent, that he withdrew them 
wholly or in part from the ornament or pot?— The 
accused got hold of the ornament with his right hand. He 
took hold of it like that and partly extracted the notes, 
and, as he did so, I requested him not to do so, and put it 
back again. [The witness illustrated.] 

But his fingers had touched the notes ? — Yes, his fingers 
had touched the notes. 

And they were partly withdrawn, so if there was any 
blood on his hands it would have got on the notes ? — Yes, 
it is quite possible. 

Re-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — Did you, on that 
evening, at any time see any blood upon him ? — I did not. 

Hands, clothes, or anywhere ? — I did not. 

Jane Sarah Draper, examined by Mr. Hemmerde — 
I had known the accused and Mrs. Wallace nine months. 
I used to go to their house once a week to do cleaning. 
The last time I went was on January 7th. 

Did you go on the 21st, with Detective-Inspector Gold ? 

Did you find anything missing that you had been used 
to finding there ? — ^Yes, a poker out of the kitchen. 

A small poker ? — Yes. 

Did you notice something else was missing ? — Yes, a 
piece of iron out of the sitting-room fireplace, which was 
always kept there. 

Do you know what it was used for ? — For cleaning under 
the gas-fire. 

Wais it as heavy as this ? [Iron bar handed.] — Yes, 
about the same weight. 

Used it to stand up in the fireplace ? — ^Yes, sometimes 
it was laid underneath the kerb. 


evidence for the PROJECHTIO!! 

Do you remember particularly when you last saw it 

there?— On January 3rd. . , , o t 

What makes you remember that particularly . 
it that morning. 

For what?— Under the gas-fire, to find a screw that 
had come off the gas-bracket. 

Who was there when you were doing that? — Mrs. 

Used it to stand up there ?— Sometimes it stood by the 
fireplace, and sometimes it was laid underneath the kerb. 
Was it there the whole time you were attending at their 
house ? — ^Yes. 

And you found it was missing ? — Yes, on the 21st. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Olivier — Do you know 
which room the Wallaces generally sat in ; was it the 
kitchen ? — Yes. 

Did you ever hear them play music together ? — No. 
They got on pretty well together, as far as you could 
see ? — Yes. I always found them on pretty friendly terms. 

James Sarginson, a locksmith, gave evidence that the 
lock of the front door of 29 Wolverton Street, which he 
had examined, had been in a defective condition for a 
long time. He stated that the part which was operated by 
the key was worn, and that when the key was inserted into 
the lock it turned a complete revolution, which allowed 
the latch to slip back again. There was no indication that 
it had been damaged recently. He also testified that the 
lock of the back door was rusty, but in good working order. 
It required pressure to open it. 

John Edward Wheatley MacFall, examined by Mr. 
Hemmerde — Is your name John Edward Wheatley 
MacFall, and are you Professor of Forensic Medicine in 
the University of Liverpool, and Examiner in Medical 

Iw 129 


Jurisprudence in the Universities of Glasgow, Edin- 
burgh, Manchester, and Birmingham ? — I am. 

On January 20th last, were you called in to 29 Wolver- 
ton Street, and did you arrive at about 9.50 ? — I did. 

When you arrived, what did you see in the front 
parlour ? — I saw the dead body of a woman lying upon 
the hearth-rug, face downwards, and the face was turned 
to the left. The left arm was extended, and the right arm 
was by the side of the body. The body was fully clothed 
and lay diagonally across the hearth-rug. The head was 
by the corner of the rug nearest to the door. The head was 
badly battered in on the left side above and in front of the 
ear, where there was a large open wound approximately 
half an inch by three inches, from which bone and 
brain substance were protruding. At the back, on the left 
side of the head, there was a great depression of the skull, 
with severe wounds. The hands were quite cold ; the lower 
arms were cold, but the upper arms and the body were 
warm. Rigor mortis, the stiffening that follows death, was 
present in the upper part of the left arm and in the neck. 
The head was turned to the left, and fixed by post-mortenci 
rigidity of the neck by about one o’clock, that is approxi- 
mately two hours afterwards. 

Three hours after ? — Yes, three hours afterwards ; that 
was practically when I was leaving, and I was watching 
the body in between, and watching the process of this 
stiffening. It was by this time, about one o’clock ; the 
post-mortem rigidity had extended to the right arm and 
the right leg, but on my first observation, when I noted 
that the neck was stiff and the upper part of the left arm 
was stiff, my opinion then was, that death had taken place 
quite four hours before ten o’clock. On further examina- 
tion of the body there was a little blood-staining of the 
hands. There wais nothing clenched in the hands, and 
nothing beneath the finger-nails. 


Before you go on ; you say you formed the view of fotir 
hours. Could you give a definite minimum that it must 
have been, a certain time ? — There is always a certain 
amount of possibility one way or the other, but the 
opinion I formed then was, that it was over four houra 
since this woman had been dead. 

Mr. Justice Wright — That is at ten o^cIock at night ? 
—That would bring it back from ten o’clock to six 

Mr. Hemmerde — What would you regard as the possible 
margin of error in that calculation ? — It could not 
possibly be, in this case, more than an hour. 

Mr. Justice Wright — One hour’s error would bring it 
to seven o clock : half an hour’s error would bring it to 
half past six? Yes, but there is the other way, and I 
formed the opinion then it was four hours or more. 

Did you notice blood splashes ? — There were blood 
splashes. I have here, bits of paper that I had in my 
pocket at the time, and these are a very rough sketch of 
what I have already described. 

The witness proceeded to describe the marks 
and direction of the blood on the walls and 
furniture of the room. 

Mr. Hemmerde— Could you form a view as to where 

me blow was struck, where the deceased was at the time? 

Yes. If you take these [the blood marks] and concentrate 
them upon a central position, they concentrate fairly 
defimtely in front of the chair. 

The chair by the side of the fire ?-The armchair on 
which is the violin-case. 

Then you say she was struck in front of the armchair 
to the left of the fireplace, the chair on which is the 
violin-case ? — Yes. 


She was standing somewhere near the fireplace ?— I 
it is a little too low to be standing. 

What do you deduce from that ?— It is suggested to my 
mind that the person had been sitting on that chair, with 
the head a little forward, slightly turned to the left, as 
if talking to somebody. 

What about the violin-case — ^would not that be in the 
Yvay ? — No, the violin-case would not be in the way if she 
sat in the chair. I sat in the chair, and that did not inter- 
fere — if she was sitting in the front of the chair. 

You think she was sitting in front of the chair, turned a 
little forward towards the fireplace ? — Yes. If you put the 
head in that position, and imagine it in that position as 
the source of this blood, the blood goes exactly in every 
direction, and fits in there exactly with the appearances 

Was there any blood on the seat of the chair ? — I did not 
see any. 

That would rather bear out your theory ? — Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright — If the head was struck, of course 
the woman would fall forward ? — Yes. 

And after that, she was struck while on the ground ? — 
Yes. I can prove that. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Can you say how many blows were 
struck altogether ? — Eleven. It is rather doubtful as to 
the front, so I have put it definitely as to eleven. 

Of those eleven distinct blows, which was the most 
severe ? — The one in front in this position. [Pointing.] 

Did that appear to you to be the first blow struck ? — It 
did, for reasons which I shall be able to give. 

How long would it take to inflict these eleven blows ? — 
Very quickly indeed. I have an idea of how they were 
inflicted, but I think they could be all inflicted (I have 
timed them) in less than half a minute. 

How soon do you think death would follow ? — Death 


evidence tor the PR08ECBT10M 

took place alm«t tomediatdy, to all intatt. and 
Would the first blow be sufficient to cause death ? 

Yes, quite. . . . , 

Could you form any view as to what the position of the 

deceased was, when the ten lighter blows were pven ?- 
Yes, and that explains what I have already described, the 

pumping of brain substance out. 

The head is lying upon the floor when the ten blows are 
struck ? — ^Yes, lying much in the position as seen in the 


Mr. Justice Wright — On the ground, but really face 
downwards, more or less ? — ^Yes, my Lord, lying on the 
right side of the face. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Having noticed the condition of the 
body, did you see anything of an old mackintosh ?— I did. 
There was an old mackintosh bundled up a little beneath 
the right shoulder of the body. This was taken out and 
examined, and was seen to be partly burnt on the lower 
right front. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Where on the right side ? — The 
burning is upon the right side. The blood-stains are all 
over it. 

There were blood-stains also on the right side ? — Yes, 
my Lord. 

Mr. Hemmerde — You said that one of the blood-marks 
was very characteristic ? — ^Y es ; that is on the left sleeve. 

Mr. Justice Wright — The projected blood on the left 
sleeve was on the outside ? — ^Yes, my Lord, and in this 
direction, too. That is rather important, I think. 

What does that projection show? — Either that there 
has been a spurting of blood or a splashing of blood in 
front, presumably by somebody who had it on. 

I do not understand ; I am sorry. It shows the pro- 
jection ? — Yes, of blood. 

Which the blood took ? — ^Yes ; that is all one can say. 



You mean from a spurt of blood in front of the mackin- 
tosh ? — Yes, on to the mackintosh. I cannot say more than 

Mr. Hemmerde — Supposing that someone had been 
wearing that? — Thatis the sourceofthe blood from thefront, 
and if anybody was wearing this, then there had been a spurt 
of blood from the front, because it comes in this direction. 

Looking at that, the suggestion has been made that the 
deceased might have thrown it over her shoulders to go 
to the door, and then to have been, I suppose, struck when 
she had it on ? — When I saw it there was no suggestion 
from the appearance that that was the case. 

Mr. Justice Wright — You mean from the position ? — 
Yes, it was tucked under the right shoulder almost in this 
direction, tucked like that. [Illustrating.] There was no 
suggestion of it having been on the arms whatever, 
nothing whatever. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Did you make a careful search of the 
house for blood-stains ? — I did. 

Did you find any ? — Yes. I found plenty of suspicious 
marks, but the only one I found was on the edge of the 
water-closet pan in the bathroom. 

Comparing it with the blood-clot by the body, could you 
come to any conclusion ? — The conclusion I came to was 
that the two masses of blood, the small mass and the large 
one, were about the same time. It is only approximate, but 
it was not dried blood, it was not very recently spilt blood. 

Mr. Justice Wright — It was about the same time ? — 
At the same time as the blood-clot by the body, my Lord. 
There are certain characteristics. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Would it want a very heavy instrument 
to have caused that fracture, the first blow ? — Fairly 
heavy, yes. 

Have you seen this, which was produced this morning ? 
— Yes. 



Just look at it. [Iron bar handed to witness.] — ^Yes, just 
such a weapon. If a blow was made with this, it would 
produce the appearances I found, or such a weapon would. 

In your view, that is just the sort of weapon that might 
have done it ? — Yes. 

When you arrived there, did you see the prisoner ? — 
I did. 

How soon after your arrival ? — Immediately. 

How long were you there altogether ? — Till after one 

Was he there all the time ? — No, he left. He went down 
to the police station. 

Can you tell my Lord and the jury what was the 
demeanour of the accused when he was there ? — I was 
very struck with it ; it was abnormal. 

In what way ? — He was too quiet, too collected, for a 
person whose wife had been killed in that way that he 
described. He was not nearly so affected as I was myself. 

Do you happen to remember anything particular that 
led you to that conclusion ? — I think he was smoking 
cigarettes most of the time. Whilst I was in the room, 
examining the body and the blood, he came in smoking 
a cigarette, and he leant over in front of the sideboard and 
flicked the ash into a bowl upon the sideboard. It struck 
me at the time as being unnatural. 

To do that, would he have to lean across anything ? — 
He did not come forward. I can recall his position at the 
moment : he leant forward so as not to step on the clot. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — I want to 
begin with the last bit of your evidence. 

The Witness — May I put in this before that? You 
have not had the position of these blows put in, and I 
have a note I made at the post-mortem showing the 

1 35 


Mr. Justice Wright — ^You have a sketch? — This I 
made as I was making the post-mortem examination. It 
shows the position after the hair is removed and the head 
shaved. It shows the cuts. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — I do not want to stop anything, 
but how can that indicate who did it ? 

The Witness — I have a great reason for this myself. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Can you give, quite shortly, what 
your reason is ? — I can. I formed an idea of the mental 
condition of the person who committed this crime. I 
have seen crimes, many of them of this kind, and know 
what the mental condition is. I know it was not an or- 
dinary case of assault or serious injury. It was a case of 

Mr. Justice Wright — We may have already formed 
that opinion. Where blows are struck by anyone, that 
probably does produce frenzy, but that is a matter for 
the jury. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^With reference to the last 
matter, you have noticed that my client has been under 
medical observation as to his mental condition ever since 
his arrest ? — I know that he will have been. 

If there is anything to be said about his mental condi- 
tion there are people competent to say it, who have lived 
with him. — Yes, I do not wish to express any opinion. 

If this is the work of a maniac, and he is a sane man, 
he did not do it. Is that right ? — He may be sane now. 

If he has been sane all his life, and is sane now, it would 
be some momentary frenzy ? — ^The mind is very peculiar. 

It is a rash suggestion, is it not ? — Not the slightest. I 
have seen this sort of thing before, exactly the same 

Rash to suggest in a murder case, I suggest to you ? — 
I do not suggest who did it at all. 

The fact that a man has been sane for fifty-two years, 



and has been sane while in custody for the last three 
months, would rather tend to prove he has always been 
sane, would it not ? — No, not necessarily. 

Not necessarily ? — No, we know very little about the 
private lives of people or their thoughts. 

Let us go back. You have told the jury that you were 
very much struck with his demeanour. You noticed it at 
the time, and were very much struck with his callous 
demeanour ? — I was. 

Why did not you say so at the police court ? — Because 
I was not asked. 

I understand you to say, that at the moment of first 
impact her head was somewhere in the neighbourhood 
of the left-hand side of the fireplace and that chair that 
stands in the corner ? — Yes. 

Which two things are, of course, quite close together ? 
— Yes. 

Do you know that the bottom of this woman’s skirt 
shows a mark where it was upon that gas-fire ? — I do not. 

There is evidence, if you will take it from me, given by 
the police that there are three characteristic burn marks 
on the lower part of the skirt, corresponding with that 
gas-fire, which would indicate that the gas-fire had been 
alight, would it not ? — Yes. 

You see the handle to the gas-fire is on the right-hand 
side of it ? — Yes. 

And just above it is a gas-light ? — Yes. 

Suppose a woman went into that room, lit the gas, and 
lit the fire, she would have to stoop down, would she 
not ? — Presumably, yes. 

If she did that with her back towards the doorway and 
someone was on her right-hand side, he would be in a 
position to strike her as she rose ? — He would. 

And her head might well be in the very position in 
which you put it ? — Exactly. 



You have suggested she might have been sitting in the 
armchair ? — Yes. 

You see, upon that armchair in the corner, a violin- 
case ? — Yes. 

And on that violin-case, large splashes of blood ? — ^Yes. 

It was on the chair when she was struck, was it not ? — 
Yes, the violin-case. 

That does not much suggest she was sitting in the chair ? 
— Yes, it docs. I have said she would be leaning forward. 

There was room here for two chairs ? — But you will 
see, on the wall, blood-splashes, and the body would 

You have agreed with me, the suggestion is a possible 
one ? — Yes. 

Your suggestion was, she was in the armchair ? — It 
brings the head into the same position in both cases. 

Will you tell me how blood-stains got on the violin- 
case ? — There is a direct line open between her head and 
the blood-patches. It can be seen to be falling. 

She is struck in front ? — Yes, the blow goes up. 

It goes out sideways, and the violin-case is behind her ? 

Whereabouts were the blood-splashes on the violin- 
case ? — They would be on the top. 

They go right along, do not they ? — Yes. 

If she had that coat round her, and the gas-fire was 
alight, and she fell when she was struck, so as to burn 
her skirt in the lit fire, do you not think it is quite possible 
that that mackintosh swung round on to the fireplace and 
caught fire ? — No, because there is no evidence of it 
having been on her right or left arm. 

Suppose it was round her shoulders and she collapsed, 
do you not see the possibility of the bottom of the mackin- 
tosh falling into the fire and getting burnt too ? — There 
is the possibility. 



Her hair was pulled away from her head, was it not, 
all up ? — Yes. 

And the pad which had been under her hair was away 
from her body ? — Yes, some inches. 

Do you not see the possibility of someone having 
grasped her by her hair to pull her from the fire ? — Yes. 

Where her clothes were burning ? — I do not know 
about the burning. 

It is said that my client tried to destroy the mackintosh 
by burning it, because it was his. That would take time, 
would it not ? — I am not an authority on the burning of 

Then we will leave that to our general knowledge. Now 
to come to another matter. The theory has been put 
forward here by the Recorder when he opened this case, 
that this might have been done by a naked man wearing 
a mackintosh. — I heard that theory, yes. 

Whether clothed or whether naked, it would be neces- 
sary, would it not, in all common sense, that many 
splashes of blood would fall upon the assailant ? — Yes, 
I should expect to find them. 

When the blood vessels are broken as in this case, they 
fly out, do not they ? — Yes. 

Would you agree that nothing in this life is certain, but 
it is almost certain the assailant would have blood on his 
face and his clothes ? — On his left hand I think he would. 

What about his right ^ — No, I do not think so. 

Think of it running down. — No. You do not find the 
blood so much on the hand that holds the weapon. 

Not when blow after blow is delivered ? — No. If it is 
done by the person’s getting hold of the victim by the 
hair, there would be a great deal of blood upon the left 
hand and not upon the right. 

The last blows being probably struck with the head on 
the ground, there would be blood upon his feet and lower 



part of his legs for certain, would not there ? — I should 
expect that. 

And the blood would continue to spill while these blows 
were being struck, would it not ? — Yes, and I looked for it. 

So that the mackintosh would never come down below 
the knees of this man, who would leave his legs, from the 
knees downwards, exposed to the blood ? — Yes. 

Whether he was wearing trousers, or whether he was 
wearing nothing ? — Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright — So there would be some on his 
face ? — There would be some on his legs. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^And his face ? — Yes. 

And his hair ? — Yes, but more likely upon the face. 

You agree it would be most likely on the face ? — Yes, I 

Although not so certain to be on the leg ? — Yes, that is 

With regard to the finger-nails, you would agree, would 
you not, if blood gets below the finger-nails it is difficult to 
get away ? — It is difficult. 

Would you agree, it would be almost certain that the 
assailant would have blood under the finger-nails ? — Not 

Through handling the thing as suggested ? — Touching 
things, unless you scrape the things, you would not get 
blood under the nail. 

They had to lift the mackintosh up ? — No ; the mack- 
intosh was not underneath the body. There was a little 
underneath the right shoulder when I saw it. 

Assume it was under the body, that would mean that 
the assailant, if he wore the mackintosh, lifted the shoul- 
ders up and put the mackintosh underneath. That would 
involve getting heavily dabbled with blood ? — No, when 
I saw it there wajs a little pushed under the shoulders by 
a hand. 



Supposing the mackintosh were put under the body, the 
assailant would have had to lift that shoulder and the 
head up to do it ? — He would. 

That would have involved getting heavily dabbled in 
blood, would it not ? — Dabbled in blood, but not heavily. 

When you went to the bathroom, it was suggested that 
the defendant went and had a bath. Did you see any 
signs of a wet bath-towel ? — No, I did not. 

Or a wet towel of any sort ? — No. 

Mr. Justice Wright — There was no towel in the 
bathroom ? — ^As far as I remember there was not, my 

Mr. Roland Oliver — I am told there was a towel. — 
There may have been one. 

One may take it, it was certainly dry, and you would 
have noticed it because you were on to the nail-brush ? — 
Yes, that is what my attention was concentrated on. 

Mr. Justice Wright — ^Was that towel dry ? — It had not 
the appearance of a person having recently taken a bath. 
There was no suggestion to me of anyone having recently 
taken a bath. 

It did not appear so to you ? — No, not within the last 
hour or so, my Lord. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — The person who did it got 
himself washed somehow, as far as you could see ? — 
I cannot say. It was a long time, four hours. 

Was the suggestion that he was naked ever made before 
this Court ? — I do not know. 

You never heard it ? — ^Yes, I have heard it. 

But you have never heard it made in public before ? — 

Having regard to your evidence that there was a hor- 
rible spurting while this dreadful thing was going on, do 
not you think that mackintosh would have more marks 
on it than that ? — You mean, if the person assaulting the 


deceased had worn it, would there have been a lot of 
blood upon it ? 

Yes, supposing he was wearing it, and there was this 
frightful spurting you have told us about, do not you 
think there would be more than those two things upon it ? 

Why do you say that ? — Because the blood all goes 
towards the floor. 

You have pointed out to the jury it has been spurting all 
round the room ? — That was the first blow. 

You find blood-splashes well above the floor all round 
the room, over the piano ? — In that direction. 

They went upwards, did they not? — Yes, from the 

Then, while the head was on the floor the blood would 
go upwards ? — Yes, and away from the assailant. 

You are speculating ? — I am. 

It depends entirely where he stood ? — Yes, it does. 

Very well. Now with regard to the time of death. 
When did you first think the time of death was important ? 
— Immediately I examined the body. 

And you proceeded to ascertain, by a series of observa- 
tions, first as to rigor mortis^ and, secondly, as to the condi- 
tion of the exuded blood ? — The blood is a help but not so 
definite as rigor mortis. 

You put rigor mortis first, but the other did assist you to 
form your opinion ? — It did. 

How many notes did you make with regard to rigor 
mortis ? — Practically none, I think. 

Can you show me one ? — I do not think I can. 

It comes to this, does it not, that you, being intent from 
the start on the importance of rigor mortis as to the time of 
death, have not made one note with regard to rigor mortis? 
— That is so. 

Let us take the question of rigor. Rigor is a very fallible 



test as to the time of death ? — Not in the present case of an 
ordinary person dying in health. 

It is a very fallible factor even in healthy people ? — It is, 
just a little. 

Does it depend, amongst other things, upon the muscu- 
larity of the person ? — It does. 

And the powerful and muscular body will be affected 
by rigor much more slowly ? — ^Yes. 

Than a feeble and frail body ? — Yes. 

Was this a feeble and frail body ? — ^Yes. She was not 
exactly frail ; she was a feeble woman. 

You have used the word “ frail ’’ ? — Yes, she was a 
weak woman. 

Frail ? — Yes, frail. 

Bearing in mind that this feeble and frail woman would 
be more likely to be affected by rigor^ are you going to 
swear she was killed more than three hours before you 
saw her ? — No, I am not going to swear ; I am going to 
give an opinion, and I swear that the opinion that I shall 
give shall be an honest one. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Then what is your opinion ? — 
My opinion was formed at the time that the woman had 
been dead about four hours. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — You saw her at ? — Yes. 

So if she was alive at half past six, your opinion is 
wrong ? — Yes. 

Does not that convince you what a very fallible test 
rigor mortis is ? — No, it does not. I am still of the opinion. 

How long does blood take to become clotted ? — It 
varies a little, but not much ; in five or six or even ten 

Considering the blood you have described on the edge 
of that pan, what I am putting to you is that that must 
have dropped upon the pan at least an hour after that 
woman met her death. — ^No, I do not think so. 



Why do you not think so ? — Because it is quite fresh 

Did you get blood on your hands while you were exam- 
ining this body ? — Very little. 

Did you wash them ? — No, not till I got home. 

When you, for instance, tested the head for rigidity of 
the neck, could you avoid getting blood on your hands ? 
— I had very little. I had a little, but very little. 

Does it occur to you that someone who came in after 
nine had dropped that clot of blood on the pan ? — That 
possibility did occur to me very much indeed. 

Having regard to the fact that there is no other blood 
upstairs at all, if a man went up, all bloody, to wash 
himself, it would be an amazing thing, would it not, that 
there was no blood upstairs ? — Only the one clot. 

Having regard to the state of that clot, and your agree- 
ment with me, it was probably an hour after that it fell ? 
I think you agree that ? — But I do not rely on the clot 
much for the time. 

Will you accept it from me, indeed, you said the chance 
was that the police had carried it up there ? — Yes, I 
thought the police might have dropped it there. 

Re-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — That occurred to 
you. Professor, because it was the only mark of blood 
upstairs ? — The only mark, and it is so striking. 

Yes. At any rate, you think it is possible that was 
carried up at once by the murderer ? — ^Yes. 

Dr. Hugh Pierce, examined by Mr. Walsh — ^About 
ten to twelve on the night of January 20th, you went to 
29 Wolverton Street ? — I did. 

And you saw the body of the deceased woman ? — 

And you made a general examination ? — Yes. 



What conclusioiij then, did you come to as to the time 
of death ? — ^Well, the fact that the hands and feet were 
cold proved to me that death had been some few hours 
previous to that. 

What do you mean by “ some few hours ” ? — Taking 
all things into consideration, I thought death had taken 
place about six o’clock, or, it may be, after. 

Did you examine the body subsequently ? — Yes, 

How often ? — Roughly about every quarter of an hour 
or twenty minutes. 

Did you note the progress of rigor mortis ? — Naturally, 
of course. 

You went in again at 12.25, ^ understand ? — Yes. 

What did you see then ? — Rigor mortis was very little 
different. The upper right arm was getting slightly more 

A little later, did you notice any difference ? — The 
lower part of the right arm had become rigid. 

Were there any other facts which helped you to judge 
the time of death ? — No ; I simply went there to examine 
for rigor mortis^ because Professor MacFall asked me to. 

You simply took the rigor mortis ? — Yes. 

As the rigor mortis progressed and you saw the body, did 
you come to any other conclusion than your previous one 
as to the time of death ? — No. 

Mr. Justice Wright — You mean, you still thought it 
was about six o’clock, or probably later ? — Yes, my Lord. 

Mr. Walsh — Can you say as to your limits ? You say 
‘‘ about six o’clock.” What limits on either side of that 
would you give ? — I would give two hours’ limit on 
either side. 

^R. Justice Wright — It might have been between 
foi'i and eight ? — ^Yes, my Lord. 

Mr. Walsh — Would you say that death could not 




possibly have occurred after eight o’clock ? — I would say 
definitely it could not have occurred after eight o’clock. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — You base 
your opinion, as to the time of death, on rigor ? — Yes, 
and the cooling of the body. 

You know what is called the rectal temperature is 
generally considered the best test? — Yes. 

That was not done ? — No, it was not done. I did not 
do it. 

When you say you think it was six o’clock, it might 
have been four o’clock in the afternoon or might have 
been eight o’clock ? — And there were other factors as 

So it follows she might have met her death at any hour 
within this time that night ? — ^Yes. 

William Henry Roberts, analyst for the City of 
Liverpool, examined by Mr. Hemmerde — Let me take, 
first of all, the mackintosh. What do you say about 
that ? — The mackintosh was extensively and heavily 
blood-stained with human blood on the right side. 

Outside or inside, or both ? — Both outside and inside. 

What about the sleeves ? — On the upper inner side of 
the right sleeve. 

Would that be the place where a person taking the coat 
off might touch ? — With a hand coming out ? 

That is what I mean. — ^Yes, they might perhaps. 

Supposing a person was wearing just a raincoat like 
that, and nothing else, would you expect a great deal of 
blood to be on that person if he was the assailant striking 
the blows ? — No, I should not. 

It has been suggested there would be a great deal of 
blood over the legs and hands? — I do not think th^re 
would be very much. 



Now I will come back to the burning. Was the burning 
recent ? — Yes, the burning had undoubtedly taken place 
in the room on the night of the murder. 

Do you know whether that is a substance that burns 
easily ? — Yes, fairly easily. 

Have you tried it ? — ^Yes, I have, with a similar thing. 
The only place in the house where there were fragments of 
mackintosh was in the sitting-room, on the hearth-rug, 
and just where the body had been. # 

Which side of the hearthrug, near the body or away 
from it ? — Yes, near the fire. 

Was there any blood on the cash-box ? — There were 
other blood-stains on the hearth-rug. I mention that 
because it has been suggested that anyone who had 
committed the murder might have stains on the feet. 
The feet could easily have been wiped on the hearth-rug. 

If anyone had blood-stains on the feet, they might have 
been wiped there ? — Yes. 

Were there stains ? — Yes. 

Whereabout were the stains ? — In the centre of the 

Were there any stains on the cash-box or dollar bill ; I 
suppose not ? — No. 

And the suit of clothes ? — ^No. There was a stain in the 
pocket, but no blood-stains. 

And the carpet and towel and lock and key were all 
free from blood ? — Yes. 

Take the skirt. Was that heavily stained with blood ? — 
Yes. The front of the skirt was heavily stained with 

There were four £i notes ? — ^Yes. 

Did you find any blood upon them ? — I found blood on 
the one which is right in the middle of the bundle. 

Was there any blood on the outer one ? — No blood on 
any of the others. 



A suggestion was made to-day that somebody, by pick- 
ing them up, might have put blood upon them ; anybody 
who had blood on their hands, picking them up fiom the 
mantelpiece. You heard that?— Yes, but they did not 
put this blood on. 

That blood extended over the note ?— Yes ; it extended 
right the way up to the top. It is a smear which might be 
caused if you had blood on your thumb and you opened 
them like that. 

Now take that skirt. [Skirt handed to the witness.] You 
see the front of it is very heavily stained ? — Yes. 

Just at the back ? — Yes. I do not know whether that is 
the back or the side ; I rather think it is the side. 

Was the burning at the front ? — I should say it is th|| 
side. I do not know how it is worn. 

Is it heavy burning ? — Yes ; the skirt is burned ri^t 
through. I think it was done the night of the murder. ' 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — You have 
expressed the opinion clearly that that skirt was biurnt on 
the gas-fire in that room ? — That is my opinion. 

That would involve that the gas-fire in that roOm was 
alight ? — Yes. 

What about the mackintosh ? If the mackintosh had got 
thrown across the gas-fire, that might have caught fire ? — 

And burnt till it was put out ? — Yes. 

And you found the burnt pieces right in front of the 
fire ? — Yes, right across the front. 

With regard to these notes, you have very fairly said, 
since they were first given to you, they have been handled 
and handled ? — ^Yes. 

When you saw the smear, it was quite obvious ? — 

So the position is this, is it ? If it was done in life by a 



man with a bloody finger, he would have seen it, would 
he not ? — ^Yes, he ought to have seen it. 

With regard to wiping the hearth-rug ; a man who was 
not anxious to leave his boot-prints in blood about the 
house might have wiped his boots on the hearth-rug, 
might he not ? — Yes. 

Your suggestion is not confined to naked feet ? — No. I 
only said if anybody has blood on their feet that would 
include it. 

It would be difficult to wipe the calves and shins on the 
hearth-rug, would it not ? — ^Yes, 

Hugh Moore, examined by Mr. Hemmerde — I am a 
Detective-Superintendent in the Liverpool City Police. I 
arrived at 29 Wolverton Street at 1 0.5 p.m. on January 20th. 

After you had been through the whole house, may I 
take it you could not find any marks of anyone having 
made a forcible entry ? — None whatever. 

Having inspected the front door, did you go into the 
sitting-room ? — Yes. 

Then, on going into the kitchen, did you then see the 
accused ? — I did. I asked him in what condition he found 
the house when he returned. I had already been told 
where he had been. He said, ‘‘ I had been called to a 
business appointment.” 

The Witness then said that Wallace made a statement 
to him similar to that made to Police Constable Williams. 
This statement concluded as follows : “ I came in. I found 
my wife murdered in the parlour, and this just as you see 
it ” — at the same time pointing to the wooden box. 

Mr. Hemmerde — To the cabinet there ? — Yes ; a 
portion of the door was on the floor. 

Then you asked him to accompany you upstairs ? — 
Yes ; and in a little room opposite the staircase there was 
a workshop and laboratory. There was a number of tools, 



and I asked the accused to have a good look round to see 
if there was a tool missing. There was a couple of hammers 
there, and other weapons ; and he had a good look round, 
and SEiid, ‘‘ I cannot see anything missing.’’ Then we went 
into the bathroom, and there was nothing missing in the 
bathroom ; the jet was burning. In the bedroom which we 
next visited there was a light burning, and nothing appeared 
to be disturbed in this room whatever ; but on the mantel- 
piece I saw a little pot, which I looked in, and could see 
there were some Treasury notes there. 

I think you left it there ? — I left it there, and did not 
touch it, and proceeded to the front room. There was no^i 
light in the front room, and the blinds were not drawii^ 
The bedding was disturbed on the left inside the door ; Txt 
appeared to me as though a person had just come in and 
taken the two pillows and flung them across the bed to the 
window side of the fireplace ; one was practically on top 
of the other, and the bed-clothing was pushed over the 

The whole of it pushed over ? — The whole of it, exposing 
a portion of the mattress. I asked the accused if the bed- 
room was like that in the day-time that day, and he said : 
“ I cannot say. I cannot say I have been in this room 
for a fortnight.” 

Looking at the bed and the condition of the room, what 
impression did it make ? — It did not give the impression of 
a thief looking for valuables. 

At any rate, you noticed the clothes in the wardrobe, 
but in the drawers nothing had been disturbed ? — Nothing 
had been disturbed at all. 

Did you return downstairs ? — es. 

What did you look at at the front door ? — I made an 
examination as to marks either on the lock or close to the 
lock, I asked the accused if he would let me have his latch- 
key. He gave it to me, and I put it in the lock. I worked it 



for a couple of seconds, and I found out what was the 
matter. I went outside and pulled the door to me, and 
locked it, and I opened it at the first attempt ; I went in, 
and said, ‘‘ I could open the door all right, but the lock 
is defective.” 

When you said, ‘‘ I could open the door all right, but 
the lock is defective,” what did he say ? — It was not like 
that this morning.” 

Did he make any suggestion to you that it had been 
bolted ? — Never. 

Neither then nor at any time ? — Not at any time did he 
make it to me. 

And you then went back into the sitting-room ? — ^Yes. 
I got down and carefully examined the mackintosh, which 
was placed on the deceased’s right side. 

Can you tell my Lord and the jury, was there any part 
of the body resting on it ? — No part of the body was resting 
on it. 

You saw it there ? — It was like this, as though it had 
been put in this position round the shoulder, and tucked 
in by the side, as though the body was a living person and 
you were trying to make it comfortable. No portion was 
resting under the body. I called the accused in from the 
kitchen, and I was standing inside the doorway. He came 
and stood on my left, slightly behind me. I said to him. 

Is this your mackintosh.” He stooped slightly and put 
his left hand to his chin. I looked at him, and he made no 
reply for probably half a minute or so. I said, “ Had Mrs. 
Wallace a mackintosh like this ? ” He remained in the 
same position, and did not answer. The witness Sergeant 
Bailey was standing in front of me, by the sideboard, and I 
said, “ Take it up and let us have a look at it.” I got hold 
of the sleeves and pulled it out like this^ and said, “ It is a 
gent’s mackintosh.” By that time the accused had actually 
got hold of the mackintosh and was examining it. 


Did he say anything ? — “ If there are two patches on the 
inside it is mine.” By that time we found the two patches, 
and, almost in a continuing sentence, he said, ‘‘It is 

Then did he say anything else ? — “ I wore it this morn- 
ing, but, the day turning out fine, I wore my fawn coat 
this afternoon. Of course it was not burnt like that when 
I wore it.” I asked him where he had left it ; he said, 
‘‘ Hanging in the hall, at half past one.” 

Before the conversation about the mackintosh, was there 
some conversation about the blinds ? — I asked him if the 
blinds had been drawn. He said the blinds were drawn. 

Before that, did he say anything about the gas ? He lit 
a match ? — That is so. 

Anything else ? — No. I said, “ Did you not scream and 
shout ? ” and he said, “ No, I Ht the gas ; I thought she 
might be in a fit and I could go to her assistance.” 

When you came to the door, could anybody get across 
to the gas without stepping into the blood ?— It was very 

The witness gave evidence as to the amount 
of light in the room at the time the body was 
discovered by the accused. 

Then you made a thorough examination ? — Yes ; and 
found no evidence whatever of a possible entry by force ; 
the windows were all secure. 

And you found no trace of blood anywhere ? — No ; on 
the carpet, on the stairs and the banisters going out, and 
the floor in the bathroom, I found none whatever. 

Apart from the splashes that we have heard about, were 
there any blood traces in the house at all ?— None what- 

Did you ever see, that night, any blood upon the 



accused ? — No. I examined him pretty well, his boots, 
hands, and the bottom of his trousers. 

I think you left the house at about four o’clock ? — 
Four o’clock in the morning. 

Had the prisoner gone by that time ? — ^Yes. 

Did anyone sleep in the house ? — He wanted to sleep 
there, but I would not permit him to, and I gave him 
a motor-car to take him to his sister-in-law. 

How long was the accused there with you that night 
before he went away ? — I should think it was some time 
after eleven. 

About an hour ? — ^Yes. 

Were you with him most of the time or not ? — I was 
with him a good portion of the time I made that examina- 
tion, and when I made the general tour round the house 
he was with me. 

What was his demeanour ? — Quiet and collected ; 
smoking cigarettes and talking generally. 

A few days later, the 27th, at about six o’clock, did he 
come to your office ? — ^Y es, he called at the office and 
asked for a change of clothing. I asked him, “ Did you 
speak to anyone on your way home from the tram-car on 
the night of the murder ? ” He said, “ No.” I said, Are 
you sure ? ” He said, Yes.” I then said, “ You told me 
you were in a hurry to get home, you should remember.” 
After a slight hesitation he said, “ I was not so alarmed 
that I would not raise my hat or speak to a person I knew.” 
After further hesitation, he said, “ Positively I did not.” 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — ^You have 
said, “ He was very useful to us in our enquiries in the 
early stages ” ? — ^Yes. 

He helped you to trace others ? — ^Yes. 

And he told you what time he got on the tram ?— Yes. 

And that was very nearly right within minutes ? — ^Yes. 



And he told you of his journeys on the trams ? — es. 

And the houses he had been to, and the people he had 
spoken to ? — ^Yes. 

With regard to this mackintosh, you have described 
how you found it ? — ^Yes. 

You now know, do you not, that before you found it the 
defendant had acknowledged it to Mrs. Johnston? — I 
know it now. 

To Police Constable Williams ? — That is right. 

And to some tall officer, who had come into the kitchen 
and said, “ There is a mackintosh in here ; whose is it ? 
and he said, “It is mine.” Then, this is what happens, 
you, a Superintendent of Police, Mr. Gold, an Inspector of 
Police, and a sergeant standing together interrogating 
him as to whose mackintosh it is ? — I asked him whose 
it is. 

Are you surprised that he was doubtful ? — I do not 
know ; all the more reason why he should say at once, “ It 
is mine.” 

What inference do you draw from his hesitation to 
acknowledge that mackintosh to you, when he had already 
acknowledged it to four different people, three of them 
policemen ? — That he was beginning to think the mackin- 
tosh was dangerous, and that the police had formed a 
certain idea. 

That would be a splendid chance for him, after he had 
already told four people, three of them police officers, to be 
suddenly doubtful about it. However, that is argument. 
You talked about his demeanour being quite calm, 
smoking cigarettes ; is that true ? — Quite. 

Mr. Roland Oliver proceeded to cross- 
examine witness as to the cash-box and the 
coins which were found on the floor. 



You do not doubt, do you, from your knowledge of this 
type of house, that the back kitchen was the sitting-room 
of this house ? — Yes, it was. 

And the parlour was kept for visitors in this sort of 
house ? — -Yes. 

When a visitor comes in at the front door, he is shown 
into the parlour, is he not ? — I suppose so. 

And the gas lit and the fire lit ; that is the usual thing ? — 
Yes, the most usual. 

You see, there is evidence in this case, that when the 
murderer was in that room the fire was lit and the gas 
must have been lit, is there not ? — It is suggested. 

What I am putting to you is that everything in that 
room is consistent with a knock at the front door, and the 
admission of someone, and the visitor being taken into 
the parlour ? — It is quite possible. 

Mr. Roland Oliver further cross-examined 
witness as to the statements made by the 
accused as to his actions on entering the 
sitting-room and discovering his wife’s body. 

I thought the account at the police court suggested 
that he had walked across the room, had seen his wife on 
the floor, thinking then she was in a fit, and had lit the 
gas. Is that a fair account : ‘‘ Thinking she was in a fit I lit 
the gas and found she was dead ” ? That is what he meant, 
apparently ? — That is the other inference. 

You may say it is absurd, but that is what he was 
desiring to convey to you ? — ^Yes, that is right, but we say 
there was no necessity for him to light a match at the 

You make the point that it is quite wrong to strike a 
match at the door to light the gas ? — I do ; there is no 



necessity for it. A man living sixteen years in a little room 
like that — ^it was not the natural thing. 

You said it would be difficult for him not to walk in the 
blood as he walked across with the match. The hearth- 
rug, which had blood on it which he would have to cross, 
was taken away, was it not ? — es. 

Have you made an exhaustive search for the iron bar 
which is suggested to have been used ? — I have. 

Have you, by any chance, searched the drains of the 
house up there ? — ^Yes, we have had the City Surveyor up 
to search them. 

It could not have been got rid of that way ? — No. 

That means it must have been got rid of somewhere 
outside the house, so far as you can tell ? — Unless it is hid 
inside the house, or the adjoining fields, possibly. 

Is there any place on the way between the back of 
Wolverton Street and the tram stop in which it could have 
been buried in the ground ? It is all streets, is it not ? — 
Yes, all streets. 

And you have searched everywhere ? — Yes. 

Re-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — My friend said you 
were an expert. Would you think it difficult to get rid of a 
thing like that ? — No, not at all. 

Is there waste ground actually adjoining Wolverton 
Street ? — Yes, just off Richmond Park. 

Mr. Justice Wright— I gathered you searched that ?— 
Yes, my Lord. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Are there other places on the way 
there ? — They are all streets and entries there. 

Mr. Justice Wright — The mystery is, someone must 
have got rid of it, if that was the instrument used. 

[The Court adjourned.] 



Detective-Sergeant HarryBailey, of the Liver- 
pool City Police, examined by Mr. Walsh. — The witness 
said that he went to 29 Wolverton Street at twenty-five 
past ten on the night of the murder. He produced various 
exhibits connected with the case. 

On January 23rd you were with Inspector Gold in the 
house ? — Yes. 

Did he ask the accused anything ? — He said to him : 

Mrs. Draper has stated there is a poker and a piece of 
iron missing from the house.” 

I want you to give the reply exactly as he said it ? — The 
accused replied : ‘‘ She must have thrown the poker away 
with the ashes ; I do not know anything about the piece 
of iron in the parlour.” 

There is one point I missed. Could you say, was Mrs. 
Wallace very well dressed ? — I should say she was poorly 
dressed, home-made clothing. 

The witness then testified as to the various 
time tests made by the police. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — You have 
been asked whether this woman was poorly dressed, and 
you said she was ? — Yes. 

Did you know that this man had a banking][account at 
this time ? — Not at that time. 

In the course of your enquiries ? — ^Yes, I did. 

Mr. Walsh — We do not dispute he had one. 



Mr. Justice Wright— Will you tell the jury, Mr. Walsh, 
it was in credit to the extent of ;;{^i52. 

Mr. Walsh — Yes, my Lord, we agree that. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^As an officer of experience you 
know the value of finger-prints, do you not ? — I do. 

Would bloody fingers leave an imprint upon a cash- 
box ? — My own knowledge of finger-prints will not take 
me that far. We have officers that dwell on that. 

Who would know about that ? — Cooke. I should leave 
it to him if I found such a thing. 

We know there was no trace of blood on the cash-box. 
That has been sworn to ? — ^Yes. 

As an officer of experience, you do know the value 
attaching to finger-prints upon any instrument or thing 
which may have been touched by a criminal ? — Yes. 

Are they supposed to be infallible ? — ^Yes. 

As an officer of experience, is that a well-known fact 
among professional criminals ? — It is. 

It is quite clear, is it not, that as she was wearing the 
skirt, it was the front of it that was burnt ? — ^As I found the 

As you found it on her body ? — Yes, I do not say how it 
should be worn, but that is how I found it. 

Detective-Inspector Herbert Gold, examined by 
Mr. Walsh — I am a Detective-Inspector of the Liverpool 
City Police. At 10.30 on the night of the murder I went to 
29 Wolverton Street. I saw various people there, and 
examined the front lock. Later, I went with Sergeant 
Bailey and the accused to Anfield Road, Bridewell. 

I think it was you who asked the accused which way 
exactly he had gone from the back of his house on the night 
in question ? — That is so. 

Then did you ask him another question ? What did you 
ask him ? — I asked him which way he came back when he 


came back from Allerton Street, and he said he came by 
the same route as by the tram to his house, except that he 
went to the front door first. Then I asked him if he saw 
anyone about the streets or entries when he went on his 
way to the tram, or when he came back from the tram, 
and he said, “ I saw no one about the entries or streets 
near home, and the first people I spoke to were the 
Johnstons.’* I asked him then if he heard anybody moving 
about in the house when he got back, and he said, ‘‘ I 
think someone was in the house when I went to the front 
door, because I could not open it, and I could not open 
the back door.” I asked him if he heard any noise. He 
said, “ No, I heard no noise in the house.” I asked him if 
the yard door was bolted when he got back. He said, ‘‘ No, 
it was not bolted but closed.” I asked him if there was 
anyone hkely to call while he was away. He said, “ Only 
the paper boy from Cabbage Hall.” I asked him what 
time the boy was likely to call ; and he said, “ I am not 
sure whether he delivered the paper or not before I left.” 
I asked him if he knew of anyone who would be likely to 
have sent the message to the Chess Club ; and he said, 
“ No, I cannot think of anyone.” I asked him if his wife 
would be likely to let anyone into the house during his 
absence on business, or any other purpose ; and he said, 
‘‘ No, she would not admit anyone unless she knew them 
personally ; if anyone did call she would show them to the 
parlour.” I asked him if he knew anyone who knew he 
was going to the Chess Club, or had he told anybody he 
was going, and he said, “ No, I had told no one I was 
going, and I cannot think of anyone who knew I was 

Did you examine him ? — I did. I examined his clothing, 
his hands, his boots, but I could find no sign of any blood 
upon him anywhere. 



The witness then testified as to various 
statements he had taken at various times 
from the accused. 

You went with the witness Moore and Superintendent 
Thomas, on February 2nd, to 2 Ullett Road, and there you 
cautioned and charged the accused, and told him you 
were going to arrest him for the murder of his wife ? — Yes. 

And he said, “ What can I say to this charge of which I 
am absolutely innocent ? ” — ^Yes. 

Have you tested the time it takes to get from the tele- 
phone box at Cabbage Hall to the Chess Club ? — No, I 
have not. 

I understood you had tested it ? — I have been on that 
route many times myself, but I never actually took the time. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Someone suggested half an 
hour ; would that be right ? — It would not take half an 
hour. It would take twenty to twenty-five minutes, 
twenty-five minutes at the outside, from my experience on 
that route. 

Mr. Walsh — Can you also tell me whether the police 
had said anything to the accused, or done anything to 
make him believe that he was suspected, on January 
22nd ? — Not to my knowledge. I did not say anything, 
and I did not hear anybody else say or do anything. 

You saw the accused the same night and some time 
afterwards ? — Yes. 

What do you say about his demeanour ? — He was cool 
and calm. 

He did not seem to be in the least upset ? — I did not see 
any sign of emotion in him at all at the death of his wife. 

Was there anything particular which drew your atten- 
tion to that ? — ^When I first went into the house on the 
night of the murder, he was sitting in the kitchen. In fact 
he had the cat on his knee and was stroking the cat, and 





he did not look to me like a man who had just battered 
his wife to death. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — Did the 
diary he kept cover a period of some three years ? — From 
the beginnings of 1928 up to a few days or a few weeks 
before the murder. 

Over a period of years, do they record some details of 
his relations with his wife ? — Yes. 

I think you found an entry in January 1928, that is some 
three years before this event, in which he recorded some 
kind of tiff with his wife. Is that right ? — Yes, that is right. 

Is that because she had too many papers in the house ? — 
It says so. 

And does the diary say he was sorry for it and express 
his regret ? — I think so. 

The statement, Exhibit 44, in which he makes suggestions 
against certain people whom he names in the statement, 
followed upon your questioning him, on January 2 ist, as to 
anyone whom he could possibly suggest ? — That is so. 

It was not a thing he went out of his way to do ; it 
followed upon your question ? — I do not know about 
going out of his way to do it. He came down the next 
morning, and told me he had got some important inform- 
ation for me. 

William Henry Roberts recalled, re-examined by 
Mr. Hemmerde, and further cross-examined by Mr. 
Roland Oliver. 

This witness gave further evidence as to 
various scientific experiments he had made 
to test the clotting or spreading of blood, 
with particular reference to the clot found 
on the rim of the water-closet pan in the 


Mr. Hemmerde— That, my Lord, with the accused’s 
statement, is the evidence for the Crown. 

The Clerk of Assize— Members of the jury, when the 
prisoner was before the magistrates, he was asked if he 
had anything to say in answer to the charge, and, being 
told that he need not say anything, but that if he did it 
would be taken down in writing and used in evidence at 
his trial, he said, “ I plead not guilty to the charge made 
against me, and I am advised to reserve my defence. I 
would like to say that my wife and I lived together on the 
very happiest terms during the period of some eighteen 
years of our married life. Our relations were those of com- 
plete confidence in, and affection for, each other. The 
suggestion that I murdered my wife is monstrous ; that I 
should attack and kill her is, to all who know me, unthink- 
able, and the more so when it must be realised I could not 
possibly obtain one advantage by committing such a deed, 
nor do the police suggest that I gained any advantage. 
On the contrary, in actual fact I have lost a devoted and 
loving comrade, my home life is completely broken up, 
and everything that I hold dear has been ruthlessly parted 
and torn from me. I am now to face the torture of this 
nerve-racking ordeal. I protest once more that I am 
entirely innocent of the terrible crime.” 

the case for the defence 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Members of the jury, this case 
has been put to you like this : If the accused did not 
commit this murder, who did ? That is not the way to 
approach it. It should be asked. Who is the man ? You 
know something of Wallace now. He is fifty-two, a delicate, 
mild man, liked by everyone who knew him ; a man of 
considerable education, and refined, and, as his diary 



shows, one with considerable gifts of expression. That is 
the man charged with this frightful crime. 

The question you will ask is, Why ? There is no sugges- 
tion of ill-feeling between Wallace and his wife. He had 
1 52 in the bank. He had nothing to gain, and there was no 
suggestion of any other woman. If this man is to be con- 
victed for a murder on the flimsiest circumstantial 
evidence, is it possible to say why ? It has been suggested 
that this crime was committed by someone in a state of 
frenzy. This suggestion was made because it was realised 
that this motiveless crime, alleged to have been committed 
by a devoted husband, presented almost insuperable 
problems. In fifty-two years no one had ever suggested 
the accused was not perfectly sane. He had been under 
medical supervision ever since his arrest, and I ask you 
to disregard that suggestion. This was no sudden frenzy. 
If the accused did this thing, he calculated it all out at 
least twenty-four hours before, for the Prosecution’s case 
stood or fell on the authenticity of the telephone call 
twenty-four hours before. It could be proved that this 
perfectly normal man was behaving perfectly normally 
throughout January 19th and 20th, which meant that, 
contemplating this frightful crime, he was going about 
his daily business and showing no signs of it ! Let me say 
now, that this is what is sometimes called a police case. If 
there is one kind of crime that is an abomination to the 
police, it is an unsolved murder. Everybody attacks them 
if they cannot get a solution. 

Thus, because Constable Rothwell sees Wallace with 
his hands to his eyes, he was “ ghastly ” and “ wiping his 
eyes,” thinking, of course, of the crime he was going to 
commit that evening ! I can call as many witnesses as you 
want to hear, to say that on the day of the murder there 
was nothing the matter with Wallace at all. 

Where was the evidence to support the suggestion that 



Wallace sent the telephone message to himself? Three 
operators said it was a perfectly ordinary man’s voice, and 
Mr. Beattie, who had known Wallace for well over eight 
years, said it would require a great stretch of imagination 
to think the voice was Wallace’s. If he did not send that 
message, he was an innocent man, and how can it be said 
that the Prosecution have even started to prove that he 
sent it ? 

For two hours he played chess with that message in his 
pocket, and won his game. What did they think must have 
been going on in his mind if that was his message, and the 
stepping-stone to the murder of his wife ? What sort of 
chess would he play ? It may occur to you that a man 
planning the murder would avoid telephoning to Wallace 
when Wallace might himself answer the call. If he had 
watched Wallace away from his house on the 19th, why 
did he not go in then and do the murder ? One reason 
against it was, that the watcher could not be sure he had 
gone to the Chess Club. Another was that there would 
be more money in the house on the Tuesday evening. 

If Wallace had, as alleged by the police, been preparing 
an alibi, it would have been some preparation to say that 
his wife would have let in Qualtrough, or anyone else, 
had they called, but, in actual fact, he had said she would 
let no one in unless she had known them personally. He 
also said he could not think of anyone who knew he would 
be going to the club. These things spoke loudly against 
its being a concocted alibi. 

The vital point in the case was : When was Mrs. Wallace 
last seen alive ? It was common ground that Wallace must 
have left the house within a minute or two of 6.45 p.m. 
If he left even at 7.30 he was almost certain to be innocent, 
but if he left at any time after 6.30 he must be innocent. 

In considering what the murderer had to do between 
the crime and leaving the house, you must remember that 



Wallace was searched the same night, and there was no 
trace of blood on his clothes, hands, face, or boots ; yet, 
according to witnesses, he must have been heavily 
spattered with blood. Before he left he must be absolutely 

His clothes could not be washed, but have to be got 
rid of. For the first time, you now hear the suggestion that 
Wallace was naked in a mackintosh. If so, his face, hair, 
hands, and legs from the knees down would be covered 
with blood. He would have to have a bath and dress him- 
self. There was no sign that anyone had had a bath at that 

The bar mentioned in the case was not found in the only 
piece of waste ground on his way that night, or in any 
drain. Where was it ? It would take time to burn the 
mackintosh. If the witness Close was right, Wallace had 
from 6.30, or some time later, until about a quarter to 
seven, but I shall call three other witnesses against whom 
not a word can be said. 

One of them said Close stated afterwards that he had 
seen Mrs. Wallace alive at a quarter to seven when he 
delivered the milk. When this came to the knowledge of 
the police, it must have been a terrible shock, for, if Close 
had delivered the milk at a quarter to seven, this man was 
clear. The argument of delivering the milk at 6.30 was, 
that it would give sufficient time for the crime to have 
been committed. In cross-examination. Close had said 
the time was between 6.30 and a quarter to seven. 
That was half way between the truth and the police 

As to why the accused should act at all on a message 
from an unknown person, I may remind you that it was 
business in which he might draw twenty per cent commis- 
sion. There was nothing “ dreadfully suspicious ” about 
his conversation with the tramway men. Everything he 



did followed a perfectly rational course. There was no rag 
of evidence except police suspicions. 

Miss Hill was not telling the truth when she said she 
saw Wallace in conversation with a man on his return to 
the house. That man, if he existed, must be perfectly 
innocent, and would come forward, and Wallace had no 
reason to conceal it. He would be wanting it known that 
he had got back. 

Why should he pretend he could not get in ? If he 
wanted witnesses, he did not know the Johnstons were 
coming out. On entering, he did not go into the sitting- 
room, because it was rarely used. There was plenty of 
room for him not to tread in the blood when he did go in. 
Could he have made a careful mental plan of where the 
blood was, so that he would know where to tread when 
he came back ? And how could he know in the dark ? 

There was a conflict of evidence as to Wallace’s 
demeanour. Nothing had been said before the trial of his 
“ unnatural calm,” and he wondered whose brain had 
devised it. Professor MacFall said he had not mentioned it 
before because he was not asked. Chief Superintendent 
Moore said the same. 

Now, with reference to the mackintosh, the police 
theory is that the murderer threw it down when he had 
committed the crime. They had a photograph showing 
the mackintosh just as if it had been so thrown down, but 
the police superintendent said the photographer must 
have caught his foot in it on his way out. That must have 
been after the photograph was taken. Are you impressed 
by this, or by Mrs. Johnston’s suggestion that it was the 
sort of thing a woman would throw over her shoulders 
when she had a cold ? With regard to the burning, was 
it not obvious that it was on her shoulder when she fell 
and burnt her skirt on the gas-fire ? 

It is clear, almost beyond question, that the blood got on 



the notes in the jar by accident, during the various hand- 
lings by those who examined them, and I suggest that the 
blood on the pan was carried up by one or another of the 
twelve police officers, or Professor MacFall or Dr. Pierce, 
who were up and down all over the house that night. 

I have no need to submit an alternative theory, but I 
shall do so. The suggestion is that, when Wallace had left 
the house, a watcher called and was admitted for the 
purpose of leaving a note ” for Wallace. The wife would 
light the parlour fire, and, as she arose, was struck down. 
That covered the facts, and explained why a fire was alight 
in the room never used ; while the woman’s sewing and 
the evening paper were on the table in the kitchen, show- 
ing they had obviously been sitting there with a fire. 

I ask you to remember Wallace’s undoubted affection 
for his wife, the utter absence of motive, his condition of 
comfort so far as money was concerned, his character — a 
gentle, kindly man of refined tastes, who could write that 
diary, and congratulate himself on seventeen years of 
married life. That was the man you are asked to convict of 
murder, and that was the man to whom I am now going to 
ask you to listen. I need not have called him. His story has 
been told over and over again to the police. I should not 
think there ever was a case in which so many statements 
were taken. 

Remember that in so far as statements were made by 
him on that Friday night, if he is an innocent man, con- 
sider what condition of mind he must have been in, 
whether quiet, as the police say ; stunned by shock ; or 
whether sobbing when alone, as Mrs. Johnston says. If he 
has made a slip or two, remember the circumstances. 

This concluded Mr. Roland Oliver’s opening 
speech and he then called William Herbert 
Wallace, who went into the witness-box 




William Herbert Wallace, examined by Mr. 
Roland Oliver — Is your full name William Herbert 
Wallace ? — Yes. 

How long have you been living at Wolverton Street ? 
— Sixteen years. 

Was it your house, or did you rent it ? — We rented it. 

How long had you been married ? — Just over eighteen 

That is at the time of your wife’s death? — Yes. 

How old are you ? — Fifty-two. 

I think, ever since 1915, you have been a whole time 
agent for the Prudential ? — ^Yes. 

What were your relations with your wife ? — What I 
should describe as perfect. 

Were you in any sort of financial difficulty ? — None 

Had you to your credit at the Savings Bank ? — I 
had an amount. 

Not a savings bank, but at a bank ? — About that, I could 
not say what it was. 

We have had a note from the bank this morning that it 
was £ 1 ^ 2 — I accept that. 

Had you any motive whatever in the death of your 
wife ? — None whatever. 

Did she always look after you ? — She did. 

You belong to this Chess Club ? — ^Yes. 

We know that notices used to appear in it advertising 
when games would be played, and so on ? — Yes. 

What was your round, geographically, in Liverpool ; 
how big a circle did you cover in your district ? — I can 
hardly describe it in terms of area ; it was a fairly con- 
siderable area. 

Would your work take you more or less round to a good 



many places? — es, I think altogether I would have some- 
thing like five hundred and sixty calls to make each week, 

I take it you must have been fairly well known as a 
roundsman in the district ? — ^Very well known. 

What was the name of it ? Can you give us the name ? — 
Club Moor. 

Have you ever been a single penny wrong in your 
accounts ? — No. 

How much would you collect on an average per week ? 
— It varied. 

We were told, I think, once a month it would be heavy ? 

I do not want to burden the jury with a lot of figures. 
Could you give us an idea of what the monthly collection 
would be ? — Three weeks out of the four, the amount 
might be anything between ^^30 and £4.0 ; each fourth 
week, it might be anything between, say, £80 and £100. 
It might even be more on occasions. 

The ordinary day for accounting, we have been told, 
was Wednesday ? — That is correct. 

You had been collecting for a very long time. In fact 
what day used you to account as a rule ? — Thursday. 

On this particular week in which January 20th came, 
by January 20th how much money had you collected? Can 
you tell without a book ? — I can give you an approximate 
amount. I cannot say to a penny, but I think about £14- 

Would Mr. Crewe have your collecting book ? — Yes, I 
think so. 

Had you collected on Fridays ? — No. 

You do not ever collect on Fridays, I understand ? — I 
may make an odd call or two, but I have no regular round 
on Friday. 

Had you every day in a week collected ? — ^Yes ; I 
collect on the Saturday. 



Do you generally collect on the Saturday all day, or 
only in the morning ? — Only in the morning. 

On Monday you collected ? — ^Yes. 

And Tuesday? — ^Yes. 

How was it you had collected only such a small amount 
as ? — I said I collected on the Saturday in that week. 

I am not correct in that. I did not collect on the Saturday 
because I was laid up with influenza. 

On that particular Saturday, you had not collected ? — 

So you had Monday and Tuesday ? — I did Monday 
morning’s collection and the whole of Tuesday’s. 

£i/\. ? — About that. 

What had you done with regard to paying out, if any- 
thing ? — As near as I can remember I must have paid out 
something like £io loj. in sickness benefit out of what I 
had collected up to that time. 

How could we establish that ? What book would show 
that, or have you any voucher or receipt ? — That can be 
established by obtaining from my Company my paying- 
in slip for that week, or my account would show that 

Would Mr. Crewe have that ? — ^Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright — Is he in Court now ? If not, let 
him be sent for. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — That is what you said. Out of 
the ;^I4 you collected, you had paid £io lo^., which 
would leave you some in cash ? — ^Yes. 

Where did you keep your Company’s money ? — In a 
small cash-box. 

The one we know about, the one that is exhibited ? — 

Did you put the into that at that time ? — ^Yes. 

While we are upon the question of money, did you keep 
any money in ajar in the bedroom ? — ^Yes, we did. 



What money did you keep there ? — It varied in amount. 
It was what we had really saved from time to time, and it 
was simply put there for convenience sake. 

Did it always stay there, or did you ever take it out ? — 
If we went out of the house at night, we always took it out. 
We never left any money in the house at all if we were out 

Did that apply to the Company’s money as well ? — It 
applied to every single penny in the house. 

So from time to time you would take that out. Did it 
stand up in the jar in the way which has been described ? 

When you say, ‘‘ we went out,” you mean you and your 
wife together ? — Yes. 

On January 19th, had you had any kind of quarrel with 
your wife, or at any time ? — No, none whatever. 

We know you were due to go and play a match of chess. 
I will take this as shortly as I can. What time did you leave 
your house to go to the Chess Club ? — As near as I can tell 
you, about a quarter past seven. 

That is the time you gave to the police near the event ? 

How did you go there, by what method ? I do not want 
the whole route, but did you walk or go by tram, or how ? 
— I walked up Richmond Park, turned the corner by the 
Church and up Belmont Road, and there caught a 

It has been suggested that you used the telephone box 
to telephone a message to yourself. Is there a word of truth 
in that ? — Absolutely none. 

You have heard the evidence given by Mr. Beattie 2 ls to 
what happened at the Chess Club ? — ^Yes. 

Is that substantially correct ? — It is. 

Were you engaged in your game when he spoke to you ? 
— I was. 


Were you interested in your game ? — I was. 

I think you were due to play a man named Mr. 
Chandler, but he was not there, and you played a back 
match. Is that so ? — Yes, that is so. 

With a Mr. McCartney ? — ^Yes. 

You made a note of the name and address in your book 
which is here ? — ^Yes. 

Was that a little memorandum book ? It does not seem 
to be much used, but there are a few entries in it. — It is a 
new one, sent down by our Company at the beginning of 
the year, and has not had many entries in it except one 
or two addresses. 

That is where you put it ? — ^Yes. 

Did you understand that there was a possibility of 
business from the message ? — ^Yes, I understood it so. 

What sort of policy might you expect a father to give a 
son who has just come of age ? What type of policy do you 
get for that, an endowment policy or a life policy ? — 
Seeing the name, and the daughter coming of age had been 
suggested, I considered it might result in a policy of some- 
thing like £ioo endowment, or something of that nature. 
I did not expect it would be less than that. 

We have been told you would get twenty per cent of the 
first payment ? — Yes. 

Would that be worth having on such a policy ? — Yes. 

You went on with your game. Do you remember when 
it finished ? — No, I do not. 

We have been told you got there at a quarter to eight ? — 

Did you go home soon after your game finished, do you 
remember, or did you wait ? — I cannot say exactly. I 
think the game was finished a little before closing time, and 
I would probably look on some other game that was being 

Was it a little before ten ? — ^About ten. 



That would be a fairly long game, over two hours ? — 

We know you went out ? — es. 

And you walked back with Mr. Caird ? — ^Y es ; to the 

Now let us come to January 20th. Did you collect, on 
January 20th, all day ? — ^Yes. 

Did you collect all the morning ? — Yes. 

And all the afternoon ? — ^Yes. 

Do you remember when you stopped collecting ? — I do. 

When was it ? — A few minutes to six. 

Do you remember where you had tea that afternoon ? — 
I had my tea at home, but I think I know what you mean. 

When I say tea,” did you have a cup of tea with any- 
body other than at your home ? — Yes. 

Who with ? — Some people of the name of Lawrence. 
They asked me would I have a cup of tea. They often 
asked me, and very often I accepted it. 

Were you your usual self that afternoon ? — Quite. 

It has been suggested by a policeman that as he bicycled 
past you, at about half past three, you had a ghastly 
appearance, and were wiping your eyes with your 
sleeve ? — I heard the suggestion. 

Is that true ? — No, it is not. 

I mean that it was through any distress ? — No, certainly 

Do you eyes ever water in January ? — They may do, yes. 

If they did, what would you do ? — Probably take out 
my handkerchief, and insert it under my glasses and just 
wipe them. 

What time did you get home that evening ? — Do you 
mean from my collections ? 

Yes — Shortly after six. 

You were not noticing times, I know, but somewhere 
about after six ? — ^Yes, possibly five minutes past six. 



Was your wife at home ? — ^Yes. 

Which is the door you usually use ? Do you use the 
front or the back door in day-time ? — In the early part of 
the evening, we generally go out and come in by the back 
door ; it is a little more convenient. 

And at night the front one ? — If I was going out after 
six, and I knew I was going to be out an hour or two, I 
might go out by the back door and ask my wife to come 
down and bolt it after me, and on my return come in by 
the front door, because I would have my key. 

I gather your back door is the more convenient for the 
tram ? — Yes. 

It comes to this. You usually use the back door. Was it at 
night you usually used the front door, or when ? — We 
rarely went out at the front door unless we were going out 
together. Then we would ; but if I was going out myself 
I would mostly use the back door unless it was late at 

On that particular evening, getting home some time 
after six, you were due to start to meet Mr. Qualtrough ? — 

To get there at half past seven ? — ^Yes. 

We were told a certain conversation had taken place, 
about where Menlove Gardens East was, the night 
before ? — ^Yes. 

Had you ever suggested to anybody that you had never 
heard of Menlove Avenue ? — No. I knew there was such a 
place, quite well. 

No one at the club knew just where Menlove Gardens 
East was, I gather ? — No. 

What time did you leave your house that evening ? — At a 
quarter to seven. 

Between some time after six, when you got home from 
your work, and a quarter to seven, you say your wife was 
there. Had you had any meal ? — I had my tea, 



With her ? — es. 

Had you done anything with regard to washing or 
changing your clothes after getting home, before you 
started out again ? — ^Ycs, certainly. 

What did you do ? — After I had had my tea, I got a 
number of papers ready, forms, which I thought I might 
require, and, everything finished, then I went upstairs 
and washed my hands and face. 

Where did you do that ? — In the bathroom upstairs, 
and I came out of there and went into the bedroom. I 
think I changed my collar and brushed my hair, and then 
came downstairs again. 

When you went out, was your wife alive ? — Certainly. 

Did she come with you ? — Yes. 

Tell us exactly how far she came, as far as you can 
remember ? — She came down the back yard as far as the 
back-yard door and I left her standing there, with an 
instruction to her to bolt the door after me. That was our 
usual practice. 

Do you remember now whether she bolted it ? Did you 
hear her bolt it ? — I did not. 

The police officer Williams says you told him she walked 
some of the way down the entry with you and then went 
back, and you heard her bolt the door. Is that right ? — No. 

I suppose I must put this question to you. I think it 
follows from what you have said. Did you lay a finger 
upon her ; did you lay a hand upon your wife at all that 
night ? — I think, in going out of the back door, I did what 
I often enough did, I just patted her on her shoulder, and 
said : “ I won’t be longer than I can help.” 

I did not mean that. Did you do anything to injure her ? 
— Oh no, certainly not. 

You have told the police, in repeated statements, what 
you did after that ? — ^Yes. 

Is that account you have given true ? — Absolutely. 



You have told them the trams you took, the places you 
went to, and the times you got there ? — ^Yes. 

And the whole story?— Yes, I gave them a perfectly 
frank account of my movements for the whole of the night. 

Just tell the jury what you did when you got by the tram 
near Menlove Avenue. First of all, you have told the police 
it was about twenty past seven when you got there ? — 
That is correct. 

I think this is shown best on Exhibit No. i6. Might the 
witness have a copy of Exhibit No. i6 ? [Same handed.] 
The tram conductors have given an account of things you 
have said to them about asking them to stop at Menlove 
Avenue and that sort of thing ? — ^Yes. 

Substantially, do you agree with what they have said ? — 

You do not remember anything in respect of which you 
differ from them ? — No. 

I think you got off at the stop opposite Menlove Gardens 
West. Is that right ? — Yes. 

What did you do, first of all ? — I walked up to the top of 
Menlove Gardens West, on the right-hand side. Menlove 
Gardens West, to the best of my recollection, and I see 
that is correct from the plan, is a triangular piece of 
ground, the middle of which appears to be occupied by 
some enclosed ground but no buildings on it. I do not 
know whether it is a garden or what it is, I could not see. 
I walked up Menlove Gardens West, on the right-hand 
side, till I got as far as Menlove Gardens North. I saw the 
name-plate on the end of the street, and realised that was 
not quite where I wanted to be. I walked down Menlove 
Gardens North some distance, possibly about eight or ten 
houses, still on the side of the Gardens or the waste ground. 
Some lady came out of a house there, about the eighth 
house down, and I waited till she got out of the gate, and 
I stepped across into the middle of the road and asked her 



did she know where Menlove Gardens East was. She did 
not appear to know very much about it, but she suggested 
it might be along this road, meaning a continuation of 
Menlove Gardens West. 

She told you to continue along there ? — es. 

Did you go to Menlove Gardens West ? — es. 

What did you do then ? — Retraced my steps, and 
went along Menlove Gardens West and along Dudley 
Gardens, I did not know the name till I saw the name- 
plate, and then I realised there was no Menlove Gardens 
East in that direction. About that time, a gentleman I 
know now to be the witness Green, was coming along the 
road, and I stopped him and asked him, and he said he 
did not know of such a place as Menlove Gardens East, 
and I said : ‘‘ All right, perhaps I had better enquire at 
No. 25 West,” so I went back to 25 West. 

Getting there, we know what happened ? — A lady 
answered the door. We had a little conversation, and she 
could not help me. Then I went along Menlove Gardens 
South, and they were even numbers, therefore my 
number wets not among those. I turned round into 
Menlove Gardens North, the other end, and I noticed 
they were even numbers also, and, therefore, my number 
could not be amongst those, and I was a bit puzzled to 
know what to do. I did not know where I was going 
to find myself. Then, at this spot which you see here, a 
man was standing at that corner, and I asked him, 
but he appeared to be a stranger and he could not help 

Where did you find yourself then ? — In Menlove 
Avenue, at that tram stop. 

Where did you go next ? — ^Down Green Lane. 

What did you know about Green Lane ? — I knew that 
my superintendent lived there. 

You had been there before ? — I had. 




Was that when you had the violin lessons two years 
ago ? — It was. 

When you went there on those occasions, how did you 
get there ? What tram route did you take ? — I cannot 
exacdy describe it, but I think possibly I would take a car, 
which would branch off in the other direction and come 
down to what I now know to be Allerton Road. I would 
get off at a big cinema there, I think it is called the 
‘‘ Plaza,” and walk up to his house. 

That does not take you anywhere near Menlove 
Gardens East ? — No. 

In fact, have you ever seen Menlove Gardens East? — No. 

Finding yourself in Green Lane, did you do anything 
with regard to Mr. Crewe’s house ? — ^Yes, I rang the bell 
or knocked, I do not remember which, and could not get 
an answer and walked down to the bottom end of Green 
Lane, and, somewhere round about the bottom, there was 
a policeman coming across the road, the policeman who 
has given evidence here. I stepped into the road, and 
asked him could he tell me where Menlove Gardens East 

How much conversation did you have with that police 
officer ? — Four or five minutes possibly. 

He told us a good deal of it. What sort of policeman was 
he with regard to his demeanour and manner ? — I should 
say he was what one might describe as quite a genial type 
of man. He was a man if you asked him a question you 
could see at once you could ask him further questions 
without his being offended. He was a man you could 
speak to. 

Did you talk quite a long time ? — Yes. I responded to 
his geniality, and he responded to the invitation. 

You told him what your trouble was ; you were looking 
for Menlove Gardens East and you could not find it ? — 



Did he tell you there was no Menlove Gardens East ? — 

What took place about a directory ? — After he more or 
less satisfied me there was not such a place, he suggested 
what I wanted might be found in Menlove Avenue itself. 
We discussed that for a moment or two, and he suggested 
No. 25 Menlove Avenue. Then I asked him where that 
was, and he told me, but he said he did not know the 
name “ Qualtrough.’’ Then it occurred to me, as I was 
about to leave him, possibly I might be able to get a 
directory at some local post office, so I asked him, and he 
said : ‘‘ Yes, you can get a directory at the post office just 
up the road here, or probably get one at the police 
station ” ; but he suggested with regard to the police 
station, that they might not allow me to use it, and I did not 
bother any more about the police station. I simply went 
up to the post office in Allerton Road, but for a moment 
or two I could not find it. 

He said you looked at your watch then. Is that right ? — 

And said, “ It is not eight o’clock ” ? — ^Yes. 

What was in your mind when you did that ? — I realised 
if it was a local post office it was probably a mixed sort of 
shop, and if I left it till after eight it would be closed, so I 
looked to see what time I had to spare. 

That was the object ? — ^Yes. 

It is suggested you wanted to impress the officer with 
what the time was ? — No. 

You went to the shop ? — I went to the shop, but the 
man had not got one. He suggested I might get one at a 
newsagent over the road, and so I went over, and the 
young lady there was kind enough to allow me to see it. 
I looked to see if I could find Menlove Gardens East, and 
could not. Then I turned over the names to see if I could 
find the name of “ Qual trough ” in the neighbourhood, and, 



if I could find the name, I would go there, but I could not 
find the name. 

That lady said you said, Do you know what I am 
looking for ? ’’ and she said, ‘‘ No ” ; and you said, “ I am 
looking for Menlove Gardens East.’’ What do you say 
about that ? — ^That is possibly correct. 

Did you say, ‘‘ I am looking for Menlove Gardens 
East ” ? — ^Yes, possibly. 

Is that the sort of expression you might use ? — Yes. 

What time was it, as near as you can say, when you 
left that newsagent? — I think it was just on eight 

Did you walk to the tram terminus and go back by 
tram ? — No, I did not walk to the terminus, I walked to a 

It was somewhere where you could get on a tram ? — 
Near the cinema, at a tram stop. 

I used the word “ terminus,” I meant a tram stop ? — 

Did you get on a tram and go home ? — Yes. 

It is said as you approached your home a woman named 
Lily Hall saw you talking to somebody at twenty-five 
minutes to nine, near an entry. You heard where it was. 
Is that true ? — No, it is not. 

Do you know the woman Lily Hall ? — ^No. 

She may know you by sight, of course ? — Yes. 

I notice that Superintendent Moore, when he told you 
about it, said, a woman who has known you for years,” 
or something of that sort. 

Mr. Walsh — “ A lady.” 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^Yes. “ A lady who has known 
you for years.” You say you do not know her ? — No. 

And never saw her in your life ? — No. 

You say you did not talk to her ? — I did not speak to a 
soul on my way home, except to the conductors. 



Did you speak to anyone that nighty to show what time 
you got back ? — ^No. 

When you got back, did you give the police, I do not 
want to go through it all again, a true account of what 
you did, namely, go first to the front door, then to the 
back, then to the front, and finally to the back again ? — I 
have not made an untrue statement to the police in any 
respect whatever. 

In any respect at all ? — No. 

Were you able to get in at your front door ? — I was not. 

In fact, what was its condition with regard to its being 
bolted ? — It was bolted. 

Did you find that out later on ? — Yes. 

When ? — ^After we got into the house, and after Con- 
stable Williams, I think it was, knocked on the door and I 
admitted him. 

When you let in Constable Williams, you found out 
definitely that door was bolted ? — Yes. 

With regard to the back door, when you tried it first, 
were you able to open it ? — No. 

Do you mean you could not turn the handle ? — I do 
not think the handle would turn. 

Did you knock upon it ? — ^Yes, I just went like this, 
bang, bang. [Illustrating.] 

Was that your usual knock ? — That is my usual prac- 

Did you expect your wife to be in ? — Yes, I expected her 
to be in and that she would probably be upstairs. 

What were your ordinary hours ? — They varied between 
twelve and one o’clock, sometimes we were later. 

Was your wife a delicate woman ? — Yes, I think one 
could say that. 

Do you know when she last saw the doctor ? — I am not 
sure whether it was the same morning or the day previous. 

I am told it was the 19th. What was that for, do you 


rmm teiai of wittiAii heubeut Wallace 

know had had a bad cough over the week-end 
«iwi h^ not slept very well at night, and she complained 
about it| and I said : SKp along to the doctor, he will 
know what to give you, and that will put you right.” 

What was the doctor^s name ?— Dr. Gurwen. He was 
the doctor who attended us always. 

When you had discovered this name and address was 
non-existent that you had been searching for, what passed 
through your mind about that ? — I think I came to the 
conclusion that a mistake had been made in the telephone 
message, either that Mr. Beattie had got it down wrong, 
or in some way the wrong message had been conveyed to 
me. 1 could not account for it in any other way. 

When you found you could not get into your house, did 
you feel anxious at all ? — Well, when I went to the front 
door the first time, I was a little bit uneasy, but I did not 
attach any great importance to it. I thought she might 
have gone upstairs and not heard me, and I thought I 
would slip round to the back and try to get in there. 

When you knocked and got no answer, did that have 
any effect upon you ? — I thought at the time she might 
have slipped out to the post. There is a post-box close at 
hand, and she might have slipped out to post a letter. 
She often did that ; I thought she might have slipped 
out to do that. 

After you had got to the back door the second time, the 
Johnstons came out of their house ? — Yes. 

Quite accidentally ? — ^Absolutely. 

And you have heard the account they gave of what 
happened ? — ^Yes. 

Substantially, do you agree with that ? — I do, yes. 

I must ask you a little about the use of your room. 
What room did you and your wife habitually use for 
sitting in for meals ? — The middle kitchen. 

On what occasion was your parlour used, the front 



sitting-room ? — ^Whenever we had any visitors, or if any- 
body came to see me on a business call, they would be 
asked in there, or if we decided to have a little music we 
would go in the front room. 

Your wife was a good pianist ? — ^Yes, she was. 

And you were learning to play the violin ? — ^Yes. 

And when you played together, you played in that 
room ? — Yes, mostly. 

In January would the gas stove be lit if a visitor came ? 
— Usually. 

Had you told your wife that evening when you went 
out at a quarter to seven where you were going ? — Yes. 

Or told her the evening before ? — She knew all about it. 
As a matter of fact we had discussed it during the day, 
and it was really because we discussed it together that I 
finally decided to go. 

She wanted you to go ? — ^Y es, she thought it might be 
worth while. 

It was a long way away, four miles, but it might be 
something worth having ? — Yes. 

Had you told her the man’s name, and where you were 
going ? — Yes, everything about it. I might say I never 
made a decision, if I was in a difficulty, without conferring 
with my wife on any point. 

The second time you tried the back door, that is to say, 
when the Johnstons were there, did it open ? — It did, 
quite easily. 

Do you know what made it stick the first time ? — No, I 
do not. 

Going into the house, you came into the kitchen ? — 
Yes, the back kitchen. 

Was there any light there ? — ^A small fight by the gas 
over the sink. 

Was that a fight that gave a good fight, or was it just 
turned right down ? — It was almost out, a very slight fight. 



That is in the back kitchen ? — ^Yes. 

In the main kitchen, was there any light ? — No. 

Did you light it ? — I did. 

Where did you go next ? — I went upstairs. 

Did you call at all ? It is said you called two words ? — 

What did you call ? — I shouted out my wife’s name 
twice, “Julia, Julia.” I probably also said, “Are you 
there ? ” but I do not remember that. 

Was there a light in her bedroom ? — ^Y es. 

Up or down ? — Down. 

Did you turn it up ? — ^Y es. 

We have been told your progress could be traced looking 
into the other two rooms on that floor ? — Yes. 

It is said that the bed in the front bedroom was some- 
how disarranged, and there were some of your wife’s hats 
on it ? — ^Yes. 

Do you know anything at all about that ? — I do not 
think I had been in that room for probably a fortnight 
before the 20th or the 19th January. 

Had that anything whatever to do with you ? — Nothing 
at all. 

You then came down. You had been in the kitchen and 
back kitchen, and the only room left was the front 
parlour ? — ^Y es. 

Was there any light in that ? — No. 

As you went into it, did you do anything with regard to 
lighting it, and, if so, tell us exactly what you did ? — ^When 
I came downstairs and approached the front-room door, 
it was closed, but not latched, that is to say, it was simply 
pulled to. 

Had you any matches with you ? — I had a box in my 
hand that I had used upstairs. 

You told us you lit the middle kitchen gas, and had the 
box in your hand ? — ^Yes. 



What did you do ? — The door was closed to, and I 
pushed it a little open, and then I struck a match in quite 
the ordinary way. That I probably did every night I went 
into the room in the dark. I held it up, and as I held it 
up I could see my wife was lying there on the floor. 

You told the offlcer you thought she was in a fit ? — ^That 
was my first impression, but it only lasted possibly a 
fraction of a second, because I stooped down, with the 
same match, and I could see there was evidence of signs of 
a disturbance and blood, and I saw that she had been hit. 

Did you light the light ? — ^Yes, I did. 

Which light ? — The one on the right-hand side near 
the window. 

Why did you light that one ? — It is the one we always 

That and the tap of the gas-stove are on the same 
side ? — Yes. 

When you saw your wife lying there, I suppose it follows 
you avoided treading on her as you went past? — 

When you got the light on, tell us, in your own way, 
what you did ? 

The moment I got the gas lit I turned round, of course, 
examined my wife, and I got hold of her left hand, that 
was lying over her body, and felt the pulse, and could not 
find any appearance of life at all, and I looked into her 
face and I saw then she was obviously quite dead. Well, I 
can hardly remember what I did then, but I know that I 
came out of the house and rushed down the yard and 
informed my neighbours, and asked them to come in. 

We have the story from them from that point. With 
regard to the weapon which has been suggested. Do you 
know anything about the piece of iron which was said to 
be against the gas-stove, used for cleaning under it ? — 
I do not know anything at all about it. 



Have you ever seen it ? — ^No. 

It is said to have been propped up against the gas-stove, 
and some time close up to the kerb ? — I have never seen 
the piece of iron. 

You have not ? — No. 

I suppose the cleaning of the house had not very much 
to do with you, had it ? — No, not very much. 

Do you know what your demeanour was the rest of 
that evening ? It was said you were extremely quiet, or 
cool and collected. One witness said you occasionally 
broke down, other witnesses say you smoked cigarettes. 
Do you really remember what your demeanour was ? — 
Well, I remember that I was extremely agitated, and that 
I was trying to keep as calm and as cool as possible. 
Probably I was smoking cigarettes for something to do ; 
I mean to say, the inaction was more than I could stand. 
I had to do something to avoid breaking down. I did sit 
down in a chair on one or two occasions, and I do 
remember I did break down absolutely ; I could not 
help it or avoid it. I tried to be as calm and as cool as 

Is there anyone in the world who could take the place 
of your wife in your hfe ? — No, there is not. 

Have you got anyone to live with now ? — No. 

Or to live for ? — No. 

And no children ? — No. 

Just a question or two about the mackintosh. Did 
Constable Williams first draw your attention to it ? I think 
before I come to that there is something else I should ask 
you. While you were in the room with the Johnstons or 
Mrs. Johnston, did you go upstairs, that you remember, 
for some purpose ? If I may bring your mind to it, it is 
connected with the notes upstairs. — I think I did, yes. 

If I can remind you of what Mrs. Johnston said. She 
said, quite early in the affair, after you had wiped your 



wife’s hands, they suggested that you should see if things 
were all right upstairs ? — es. 

And you then went up and looked at this jar, which you 
call your savings bank and put your savings in, and came 
and told them that there was there ? — es. I think I 
did do that. 

Do you remember going up to do that ? — ^Yes. 

Do you remember whether or not you put your hands 
on the notes in the jar? — ^Yes, I probably took them out 
and handled them ; counted them. 

You say ‘‘ probably.” Do you remember doing it ? — 
Yes, I think I can say that. 

Do you remember what shape they were in ? — Folded 
up in four. 

Do you remember whether they were lying loosely, 
or whether they were shut up tight ? — They would be 

You think they would be ? — ^Yes. 

You came down, and said they were there ? — Yes. 

Now let us come to the mackintosh. After you let 
Constable Williams in, he pointed it out to you, and said : 

This looks like a mackintosh ” ? — Yes. 

Did you look at it then ? — ^Yes. 

Had you noticed it before ? — Yes. 

I think Mrs. Johnston mentioned it ? — Yes. 

You had already seen it, and identified it to Mrs. 
Johnston. The point is this : that it was the police 
constable who said to you, That looks like a mack- 
intosh ” ? — ^Yes. 

Before that, had you moved it at all ? — No. 

But you had handled it ? — I just fingered it. 

I think it was said you fingered it then ? — ^Yes. 

Then, substantially, do you agree with what Police 
Constable Williams said you did, about going round the 
house and that sort of thing ? — ^Yes. 



You have told the jury the only point about your state- 
ment to Williams that you dispute, namely, you said that 
your wife had come down the entry with you ? — That is 
so, I do dispute that. I think he must have misheard me. 

And you acknowledged the mackintosh to Williams and 
one or two other officers who came into the kitchen. Is 
that correct ? — That is quite right. 

Before you gave the statement in which you mentioned 
the names of people who might have done this, had you 
been pressed by Inspector Gold to give the names of 
people who could possibly have done it by the questions 
he asked you on the night of the 21st ? — ^Yes. The ques- 
tions were put to me in such a way that I felt that I had to 
give the names of people. It was put to me something like 
this ; “ As near as you can remember, would your wife 
admit anybody to the house? ’’ I agreed she might ; and he 
said : “ Can you tell me the names of anybody she would 
admit ? ’’ and I gave him the names of quite a number of 
people that my wife would know and would admit at 

Had you at that time considered the possibility of a 
man coming and giving the name Qual trough ’’ to your 
wife ? Looking at it now, if someone did come and give 
the name of “ Qualtrough ” to your wife on that night, do 
you think she would have let him in ? — Seeing I had gone 
to meet a Mr. Qualtrough, I think she would, because 
she knew all about the business. 

It is only a matter of speculation ? — ^Yes. 

If she had let him in, where would she have taken 
him ? — Into the front room. There is no question about 

I think you were with the police till what time in the 
morning that night ; what time did you go to bed ? — 
Half past four to five. 

The next morning ? — Yes, early morning. 



How long did you stay at the station next day? — I 
think I stayed till ten o’clock. 

You were not allowed to sleep at your own home that 
night ; you slept at your sister-in-law’s ? — ^Yes. 

Did you realise at some time or other that there were 
people who suspected you of having done this ? — I did, 

Did that happen quickly ? — ^Within three or four days I 
began to suspect that might be the case. 

Did the police ask you about a conversation you had 
with Mr. Beattie on the 22nd, two days afterwards ? — ^Yes. 

You agree what the conversation was, asking him to try 
and remember the time. What was in your mind then ? — 
When I was talking to Mr. Beattie ? 

Yes, Why did you think time was important then ? — 
Well, I had just come from the police station ; I had been 
there all that time, and some time during the evening 
Superintendent Thomas had come into the room, and 
had a conversation with me regarding this telephone 
message which had been received, and he gave me the 
information that they had been able to trace that call to a 
call-box somewhere in the Anfield district. 

That would be near your home ? — It was suggested to 
me that it was near my home. If that was so, and the time 
was stated to be about seven o’clock, I was in this position : 
I felt that if I had left home at a quarter past seven, and 
the telephone call had been made at seven o’clock, and if 
the police up to that moment had believed all my state- 
ments to be true, and I had no reason to doubt other- 
wise, then that automatically cleared me of having sent 
that message. That is what I thought about that. 

If it was a genuine message, you realised you would be 
an innocent man ? — Yes, quite. 

Was it with that in your mind that you asked Mr. 
Beattie if he could possibly remember the time ? — It was, 

i 8 q 


because Mr. Beattie was uncertain, and I thought if he 
could fix it, as he thought it was about seven, that it was 
seven o’clock, and I left at a quarter past seven, at all 
events I could not have sent that message. 

That, at all events, was what was in your mind. Com- 
ment is made that when the officers asked you next day 
why you were interested in the time, you did not say 
why ; you said it was indiscreet of you ? — ^Yes, I did. 

Why was that ? — When Superintendent Moore put 
these questions to me, I realised that if he could tell me 
of meeting Mr, Beattie somewhere round about a quarter 
past ten the previous night, and knew something of the 
conversation, I must have been followed, my movements 
must have been under observation. That was the conclu- 
sion I arrived at. If I had been under observation, I was 
therefore, to my mind, a suspected person, and the argu- 
ment that went through my mind was, it was indiscreet of 
me, if I was a suspected person, to be talking to a man 
who might be called as a witness in any charge made in this 
case. I realised that was an indiscretion, and that was 
why I was unwilling to say anything further about it. 

Had Mr. Beattie said anything about the night before ? 
I do not know whether you remember what he said ? — I 
cannot give the words, but he advised me to say as little 
about this case as possible to outsiders. 

Because I think he said that anything you said might 
be misconstrued ? — ^Yes. 

Do you agree with that ? — I agree it was misconstrued. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — I want to ask you, 
first, a few general questions. Where was your wife on 
Monday evening, the 19th January? — She was in the 

You left her there ? — ^Yes. 

Quite well ? — Except for the cold that she had. 


Yes, Otherwise quite well ? — ^Yes. 

Where was Mr. Crewe on Tuesday the 20th January ? — 
I understood that he had gone to the cinema. 

Who told you so ? — He told me himself. 

That he had gone to the cinema ? — He gave evidence of 
it here. 

On that night, the 20th ? — On the Monday night. 

I am not talking of the Monday ; I am talking of the 
Tuesday ? — On the Tuesday I do not know where he 

I thought you did know. On the Monday night, you say 
you knew he had been to the cinema ? — No. I am wrong. 
On the Monday night I do not know where he was. 

I want to know on the Tuesday night where was he ? — 
That was the night that I called at his house. 

On the night of the murder, do you know where Mr. 
Crewe was ? — I have heard him give evidence that he was 
at the cinema. 

I did not catch that. Did you know it at the time ? — I 
did not. 

You had no idea on the night of the 20th that Mr. 
Crewe was not at home ? — I had not. 

You are a friend of his ? — ^Yes. 

Very friendly ? — Fairly friendly, yes. 

This must have been quite a slight cold of your wife’s, 
was it not ? — We did not regard it as a serious matter. 

I notice that afterwards, in your first statement, you say : 

first of all, when I arrived at my house at 2.10 my wife 
was then well, and I had dinner and left the house ” ; and 
again afterwards : “ I entered my house and had tea with 
my wife, who was quite well.” — ^Yes, except for the slight 

You did not say that in your statement, so you did not 
attach any importance to it ? — Her cold was not a very 
severe one, no. 


So far as the use of your parlour was concerned, did you 
use it much for music ? — ^Yes, quite a fair amount. 

When you had an off evening, I suppose, being both 
musical, you were inclined to spend it with music ? — Yes. 

And, I suppose, being, to some extent, a musician, you 
did not leave your piano open when you were not using 
it ? — ^Yes, we did. 

Always ? — ^Yes, pretty nearly always. 

One sees it open in the photograph taken after the 
murder ? — ^Yes. 

And one sees music upon it ? — Quite possible. 

Have you the book of photographs there ? — No, that is a 

Just take it. [Same handed.] Can your knowledge of 
music tell you what that was on the piano ? — No, it 
cannot, except it might be two pieces of music. 

Yes, it might be two pieces of music ; it might be the 
violin score and the other ? — I think it is too long to be 
violin music. 

You think it is. When you used the piano for music on a 
night in January, you would naturally have the fire 
lighted ? — ^Yes, we did. 

And the gas ? — ^And the gas. 

Had you any other light to throw upon the music than 
the gas ? — ^We had the two gas-jets, no other. 

Two ? — Yes. 

And you generally use them both, I suppose ? — No, if 
we were by ourselves we would use one. 

For the music ? — ^Yes. 

Then if you had been going that night to stay at home, it 
would have been quite natural that the piano should be 
open, and the fire lit, and you would be having your 
ordinary musical evening, if you had not had your 
appointment with Mr. Qualtrough ? — No, probably we 
should not have had any music that evening. Her cold 



would have made her say, “ It will be rather cold in the 
front room, I do not think we will bother to-night with 

She might ? — es. 

Her cold had not been too bad for her to walk out into 
the yard and see you out ? — That is so. 

Was she wearing your mackintosh at the time ? — No. 

Her cold was evidently not at all bad ? — ^We did not 
consider it serious. 

And she was not a singer ? — She had been at one time. 

It was piano playing in which she was interested, and, 
therefore, the cold would not affect her ? — Not a bit. 

Therefore, if you had made up your mind to stay at 
home, and she knew it, it would be perfectly natural 
that you would be spending your time there with the 
fire lit, gas lit, and playing music ? — It would be quite 

Had you ever told your wife you were going out that 
night ? — Certainly, we discussed it. 

You discussed it ? — We discussed it at tea-time. 

If your wife had not known you were going out that 
night, she might have got the room ready for you for the 
music ? — Not unless I had asked her to do so. 

No, but if you had asked her to do so ? — She would have 
done it. 

If you had let your wife know you were going to be in, 
that is just how the room might have been ? — If we had 
decided to have music, that is, of course, how it would 
have been, naturally. 

Just one point you made just now about the notes 
upstairs. You said just now that you counted the notes 
when you went up with Police Constable Williams ? 

Mr. Roland Oliver — I do not remember his saying 

Mr. Justice Wright — If there is any question, I will 

Nw 193 


TllE trial of william HERBERT WALLACE 

ask the Shorthand Writer to read it. I do not quite 
remember that. 

The Shorthand Writer read Question 3229 
down to Question 3234 and the Answer 

Mr. Hemmerde — It is clear then, you did say you 
counted them. You see the surprise it has caused. Have you 
ever said such a thing before, even to your solicitor or 
counsel ? — Have I ever said what ? 

That you counted those notes ? — I do not know. 

Throughout that evening, did you ever find blood on 
your hands ? — I did not observe it. 

At any time, have you ever said to any human being 
that you did find blood on your hands ? — I do not think so. 

Then, so far as you know, no blood from your hands 
could have got on those notes ? — ^Yes, I think I can say 

At what moment did you first realise that the police 
suspected you ? — I do not think I realised it at all 
until I had the conversation regarding the Beattie 

Did you realise then they suspected you ? — That was 
my impression. 

Now another question. You used to go to Calderstones 
very often, or fairly often ? — My wife and I might have 
gone possibly once a year. 

Rarely, was it not ? — No, I do not think so. We generally 
went about twice a year, the time the roses were out. 

How used you to get there ? — Take a car to Lodge Lane 
and change over. 

The only route is off Menlove Avenue, is it not ? — I 
could not really tell you that. 

Could not you ? — ^No. 



I put it to you, you can only get to Calderstones by 
tram-car via Menlove Avenue ? — No, I could not say 
that definitely. There may be two routes, I cannot really 
tell you. I do not know. 

When you went to Calderstones, as your diary shows, 
used not you to go up Menlove Avenue ? — ^We probably 
did, but I did not know whether there was any other 
route or not. 

Did you not know Menlove Avenue quite well ? — No, I 
did not. 

I see here twice, May 22nd, 1929, and August 30th, you 
go to Calderstones ; that is twice in a few months ? — Yes, 
quite possible. 

You did not know Menlove Avenue well? — I did 

How used you to go to Woolton Woods with your wife ? 
— Took the car to Smithdown Road corner. I probably 
enquired of some driver of a car which car would take us 
there, and get on that car. 

You would find yourself then at the Penny Lane 
junction ? — Possibly. 

Used you to go to the Plaza Cinema with Mr. Crewe ? — 

Never ? — No. 

You have never been there ? — Yes, I have been there. 

Not with Mr. Crewe ? — Yes, I have been there with 
Mr. Crewe. 

I thought you said you had not ? — You asked me if I 
had been to see Mr. Crewe. I will explain. I had been to 
Mr. Crewe for a music lesson, and he said : “ I will see 
you down the road ” ; and we arrived at the Plaza, and 
he said : ‘‘ Come over and have a coffee before you go ; 
and we went over and had a coffee, and came out and I 
went home. I did not go into the place. 

Not into the cinema ? — ^No. 



You did not go into the cinema at all ? — No, only the 
restaurant part. 

Is that called the Plaza too ? — I understand so, it is all 
in one. 

[Counsel referred again to the diary.] “ After the 
lesson we went into the Plaza Cinema, a wonderfully 
well-got-up place ’’ ? — Yes, quite. 

Inside ? — Inside the large hall in which you go for tea or 
coffee or refreshments. 

What time did you go there ? — I cannot say. I should 
say probably half past nine, or it may have been a little 
later even. 

And got home about eleven ? — Yes, possibly. 

That is according to the diary. 

Mr. Justice Wright — What is the date of that ? 

Mr. Hemmerde — That is the 5th December, 1928, 
my lord. 

You realise that from the Plaza Cinema you are only 
a few hundred yards from Menlove Avenue? — I know 
that now, yes. 

You also know that half-way up Green Lane, which 
joins Allerton Road and Menlove Avenue, lives Mr. 
Crewe ? — Yes, I know that, of course. 

Did it ever occur to you when you were in difficulties 
that night on the 20th, and you could not find Menlove 
Gardens East, just to look in and ask Mr. Crewe where it 
was ? — ^Yes. 

You have just said you thought he was at home that 
night. Why did not you look in there instead of going to 
the post office and the police station ? — I have given 
evidence that I did look in. 

At Mr. Crewe’s ? — I knocked at his door but could get 
no answer. 

When did you do that ? — ^That night. I should say it was 
about 7.40. 



Before you saw the police officer ? — Immediately 
preceding that. I walked straight from his house and met 
the policeman at the bottom of the street. 

You knew your way from Menlove Gardens down to 
Mr. Crewe ? — I knew I was in Green Lane. I met a man 
at the tram stop and asked him. 

Did you walk down Menlove Avenue ? — Yes. 

And you knew that Green Lane ran between Menlove 
Avenue and Allerton Road ? — I did not know what the 
other road was called, but I knew there was another tram 
route on that road. 

Do you say that you stated somewhere that you called 
on Mr. Crewe that night ; that you ever stated it to anyone 
till you gave it in evidence to-day that you called on Mr. 
Crewe ? — I think that is in evidence in one of my state- 
ments to the police. I will not be positive about it, but I 
think so. I think Inspector Gold would probably have that 

I will find out if it is there. I have got Exhibit 44, 
when you gave all the names. “ When I was at Allerton 
looking for the address 25 Menlove Gardens East, in 
addition to the people I have already mentioned, I 
enquired from a woman in Menlove Gardens North. She 
came out of a house near the end, by Menlove Gardens 
West. She told me it might be further up, in continuation 
of Menlove Gardens West. I went along as suggested by 
her and came to a cross-road, I think it was Dudley Road, 
and I met a young man about twenty-five years, tall and 
fair, and I enquired from him but he could not inform me. 
I walked back down the West Gardens to the South Gar- 
dens and found all even numbers. I did not knock, and 
came out on to Menlove Avenue itself, where I saw a man 
waiting for a tram by a stop where there was a shelter, 
I went up to him, and asked him if he could tell me where 
Menlove Gardens East was, he said he was a stranger and 



did not know. I think these are all the people I spoke to 
that night at Allerton.” Did you say in any statement 
which you made — I will go through them if necessary — 
ever state that you called that night and knocked at 
Mr. Crewe’s ? — ^Yes, I think I did. 

What statement? — I cannot tell you, but I think I 
volunteered that information on some statement. 

I have looked through them and I cannot find it. I put 
it to you, you never have said so until to-day. Of course, 
you realise now the importance of that point, that you 
were quite near your superintendent, who would know the 
district well, and yet you were walking round asking of 
everybody else where it was. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — I am sure my friend does not 
want to do the witness injustice. This was put to Mr. 
Crewe at the police court, and I am sorry I did not put it 
to Mr. Crewe here ; but it was put to Mr. Crewe there in 
fact, and it was ascertained he was out. 

Mr. Hemmerde — My learned friend does not see my 
point as to whether he was out or not. I first got the point 
from the witness that he did not know he was out. 

Mr. Justice Wright — I do not remember, Mr. Oliver — 
it may or may not be important — as one goes along, any 
statement in which the witness says he had gone to Mr. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — I am not suggesting it occurs in 
any of his statements. It was in the notes of his defending 
counsel as early as the 20th January and put to Mr. Crewe. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Do you accept the suggestion that it 
was quite easy for anyone to know when you would be 
at the City Cafe ? — Yes ; quite easy for anyone who was 
acquainted with the City Cafe or the Chess Club at the 
City Caf6, quite easy. 

Anyone who was interested enough to look at the City 
Chess Club notices ? — ^Yes, 



No one could possibly have known that you would be 
at the cafe that night ? — Nobody could say absolutely, 
certainly, that I would be there, no. 

You told no one that you were going to be there ? — 
That is so. 

Therefore if anyone, not a member of the club, hap- 
pened to know that you were down to play a game, that 
would not mean necessarily and definitely that you would 
be there ? — That is so. 

And you had not told anyone you were going there ? — 
I had not. 

You have said how, on the night of the 20th, you had 
about of Prudential money ? — I have. 

I suppose that out of your weekly debit — I leave out 
the monthly one for the moment — you have always got 
a certain amount of payments to make as you go along ? — 
Yes, that is so. 

And the balance that is in your hands on the Monday 
or Tuesday would never be very much, apart from the 
monthly debit ? — ^Yes, they might be very considerable. 

Your total collection, we know, would be something 
of the average of 5(^30 ? — to ^(^40, yes. 

Is it not roughly nearer than ? — ^Y es, it might 


There are some 10,000 Prudential agents in the 
country ? — Yes. 

And the average debit is rather under £^0 than over ? — 
It is round about £"^ 0 . 

Anyone knowing the nature of your business would 
know when your monthly collection would be ? — ^Any 
outside person would not know, certainly. 

No ; but anyone who knew sufficiently to know the 
methods of your business would know that as well ? — 
They might do. 

And if he was going to make a raid on your house and 



attack -your wife alive, he would naturally choose the 
time of the monthly collection ?— He might. 

That would strike you as being the more natural, would 
it not ? So far as you know had your wife got any enemies 
at all ?— None whatever. 

Was I right in describing her as a frail, quiet, rather 
old-fashioned lady?— No, I do not think so. I do not 
think she was what you might call old-fashioned, and I 
do not think she was what you might describe as frail. 
She did not have the best of health, and she was not a 
robust person. 

As far as you know she had no enemies at all ? — I do 
not think she had a single one. 

And although you gave certain names to the police of 
persons she might have admitted, is there one of them 
against whom you have the slightest suspicion of having 
committed this offence ? — No. 

When you used to go to the club, how used she to spend 
the evening there ? — It would depend. Sometimes she 
sat in the kitchen, sewing or occupying herself in various 
domestic duties. 

Would she go out to friends some evenings ? — Very 
rarely. Sometimes she would go in the front room and 
light up and play a tune or two for possibly half an hour, 
and come back into the kitchen and occupy herself with 
domestic duties. It would vary, of course. 

When Mr. “ Qual trough ” rang up on Monday night, 
we know he was a few hundred yards from your house ? — 

I do not know. 

You have heard he was at the call-box ? — He was sup- 
posed to be there. I do not know. 

You do not dispute that the caf6 was rung up from 
there ? — In the face of the evidence I cannot dispute that. 

Very well then, you can say “ Yes.’’ He was about 
four hundred yards from your house. Your wife was 



alone, presumably. As he rang up the City Caf(J, he must 
have expected you to be there?— One must presume 

He might have ascertained other people expected you 
to be there ? — ^Yes. 

Otherwise he would not have left the message ? — ^Yes. 

And you were there two hours or more ? — Yes. 

And ample opportunity for him to have gone round 
to your house, was it not ? — ^Yes. 

Only a few minutes away ? — ^Yes. 

And your wife left there alone ? — Yes. 

What you are suggesting he did do, was to ring up and 
make an appointment for that night ? — I am not sug- 
gesting it at all. 

Is that the entry made when Mr. Beattie spoke to 
you ? — ^Yes. 

Did you put in the ‘‘ East ’’ in block letters after you 
had written Mosslcy Hill ’’ ? — ^Yes. 

Why in these block letters ? — Because in writing it 
down I took the name from Mr. Beattie, and I repeated 
it afterwards : ‘‘ R. M. Qual trough, 25 Menlove Gardens 
West, Mossley Hill,” and he said, “ Not West, East.” 

You had not begun to write West had you ? — I had not 
got to that point and he corrected me, and I wrote “East” 
in block letters, in order that I myself would be reminded 
that it was correct. 

Have you ever used that telephone box? — Yes. 

You have ? — I have. 

Were you used to using it ? — I was not. 

Do you generally use the one in the library ? — Usually. 

Did you think there was a light in it, the one we are 
discussing ? — I did not know. 

How many times do you think you have used it ? — 
Once, or perhaps, twice. 

In private matters you would use it rather than go and 



speak on the library ’phone? — No, I would go to the 
library for preference, it is nearer. 

There have been occasions when you have used it. 
Has anyone ever left a message for you before at the City 
Cafe ?— No. 

Or has anyone ever left such a message for you any- 
where ? — Of that type, no. 

You never have ? — I have never received a message 
like that before in my life. 

And, of course, Mr. “ Qualtrough ” had no possible 
means of knowing whether you would receive it that 
night, because no one knew you were going to be at the 
club ? — That is so. 

Then he rang you up at 7.15 or 7.20, and without 
knowing you would ever get the message, and without 
knowing you would ever go to Menlove Gardens East, 
apparently he was ready waiting for your departure the 
next night ? — It would look like it. 

Did it ever occur to you that he would have to watch 
both doors, front and back ? — No, it did not. 

You are a man of business instincts, you could hardly 
be a Prudential agent if you were not ! — That is so. 

And you had never had a message sent you before ? — 
I have not. 

You must have realised he had not the slightest idea 
as to whether you got his message or not, because you 
say no one knew you were going to be there ? — Yes. 

And, therefore, he never knew you were going to get 
his message, and in spite of that you go off to Menlove 
Gardens East ? — Yes. 

Had you any anxiety in leaving your wife that night ? — 

Not only could he not know that you would go, but he 
could not have known that you would not look up a 
directory and find there was no such place ? — No. 



He would have to risk all that ? — ^Yes, 

And, of course, you could have found out at once, if 
you had looked up in the directory, where Menlove 
Gardens East was or was not ? — I could have done. 

And I suppose the slightest enquiry at the Prudential 
office would have told you the town of Liverpool is divided 
into blocks, each under an agent, and then there is a 
superintendent over the agent. It would have been the 
simplest thing in the world to find out through the 
machinery at the hands of the Prudential whether there 
was such a place ? — It was not necessary. 

Then when you went up to Penny Lane, you know now, 
at the terminus there, you were a very few yards away 
from Menlove Gardens East ? — ^Yes. 

Did it ever occur to you to ask the policeman there on 
point duty where it was ? — No. 

If you had, you would have learned at once it was not 
there ? — The tram conductor gave me sufficient evidence 
to show I had only to take the car on the right route and 
I would be where I wanted to be. 

You were not asking the tram conductor where you 
were ? — No, but he knew the route. 

Would you describe yourself as a very talkative and 
communicative man — rather the contrary, are you not ? 
— I do not know how I could describe myself. I leave 
others to do that. 

Would not you say you are a person who would not 
talk more than is necessary ? — I would not say. 

Do you know the witness Phillips, the conductor, says, 
three times you told him you wanted to go to Menlove 
Gardens East ? — That may be so. 

And once you told him you were a complete stranger 
in the district and had important business ? — ^Yes. 

Had you important business ? — ^Yes, because it might 
have meant money to be put into my pocket. 



And you did not know who the person W£ts ? — No, I 
did not. 

Do you know the next conductor, Thompson, says 
you asked him about Menlove Gardens East, and you 
told him : I am a complete stranger round here ” ? — 

And you know the police constable says that you asked 
him where Menlove Gardens East was ? — ^Yes. 

Had you already been told by the young clerk, Green, 
that there was no such place ? — Yes. 

And having been told by the police constable there was 
no such place, did you then go to the newsagent. Miss 
Pinches, and did you speak to her about looking for 
Menlove Gardens East ? — Yes, I think so. 

She says you did ? — ^Yes. 

And did you learn from her there was no such place ? — 
I did. 

As a matter of fact, does it not strike you, looking back 
upon it now, that all these enquiries were absolutely un- 
necessary ; one simple enquiry of the policeman on point 
duty would have done it ? — No, it does not strike me at 
all as being out of the way. 

Where is Mr. Crewe generally during the day ? — At 
his office. 

And that is on the telephone ? — The office is on the 

You had only to ring up Mr. Crewe and find out where 
Menlove Gardens East was, if it was near him ? — I could 
have done that, but I did not think of it. 

Then again, you see, on the night at the cafe you were 
making so much of the name “ Qualtrough,” and talking 
to two of the members about it as a curious name ? — No, 
I was talking to Mr. Caird. It just occurred to me it was 
rather a peculiar name, and I simply asked Mr. Caird 
had he heard of the name, and he had, but it was an 



entirely new name to me. It did not strike me there 
was anything unnatural in such a conversation. 

Does not the whole thing strike you as very remarkable, 
that a man who does not know you should ring you up 
for business in another district, and expect you to go 
there, and yet, without knowing whether you had gone 
there or not, come and wait outside your house for the 
chance of murdering your wife ? — ^Yes. 

If you had been given a right address, of course, you 
need not make a number of enquiries, one would have 
been sufficient. You follow what I mean ? — Yes. 

The wrong address is essential to the creation of 
evidence for the alibi. Do you follow that ? — No, I do not 
follow you. 

If you had been told Menlove Gardens West, the first 
enquiry would have landed you there ? — Yes. 

If you are told of an address which does not exist, you 
can ask 'Seven or eight people, everyone of whom would 
be a witness where you were ? — Yes. 

Now I think you told Police Constable Williams that 
when you could not find Menlove Gardens East you 
became suspicious and returned home ; is that right ? — 
I think so, yes. 

Why did you become suspicious ? — Well, seeing I could 
not definitely find either the man or the place, I had an 
idea that something was not quite right ; and seeing that 
there had been in our own street only fairly recently a 
burglary, and one about, possibly, eighteen months or 
two years ago, and a number of tragedies in the street, I 
was rather inclined at first to think that something of the 
sort might have been attempted at my own house. I did 
not become unduly uneasy. 

Did it not occur to you that the address might have 
been taken down wrongly on the telephone? — I have 
stated that it did. 


It did occur to you ?— It did. 

That was a very natural thing to have happened, was 
it not ? — Yes. 

But you became suspicious ? — I was uneasy. 

And so you went home? — I went straight home, of 

Then, when you reached home, you expected to find 
your wife in, and a light on in the kitchen ; is that right ? 
— That is what I would expect to find. 

Did it make you suspicious when you found there was 
no light in he kitchen ? — Yes, I was still uneasy ; I could 
not understand why there should be no light in the 
kitchen — I mean in the living kitchen, of course. 

How were you able to see that there was no light in the 
kitchen ? — Through the window in the back kitchen. 

Do you remember a conversation you had with Police 
Constable Williams upon that subject ? — Yes. 

That he said to you when you first came up the yard, 
‘‘ Did you notice any light shining through the cur- 
tains ” ? — That is so. 

And you said the curtains would prevent the light from 
escaping ? — Quite correct. 

Now let us look at the plan of the house. There is the 
door to the kitchen, is there not ? — Which kitchen do you 
refer to ? 

I refer to the kitchen ; that is not the back kitchen. — 

There is a door there separating it from the back 
kitchen ? — Yes. 

If that door was shut, how would there be any light 
from the front kitchen to the back kitchen ? — There would 
not be any, but I did not say the door was closed. 

I do not say that, but if it had been closed there 
would have been nothing to make you uneasy ? — ^You 
could see. 



What I am pointing out to you is, that when you came 
into the yard you had no reason to know there was no light 
in the kitchen ? — No. 

It was quite impossible to see whether there was or was 
not ? — Until I tried the door I did not look through the 
window in the kitchen. 

When you tried the door, or looked through the 
window in the back kitchen, if the front kitchen door was 
shut, you could not see whether there was a light in the 
front kitchen or not ? — No. 

Therefore, when you told Constable Williams that the 
curtains would prevent the light from escaping, it was a 
fact, and with the door of the inner kitchen shut there was 
no possible way by which you could see there was no light 
in the kitchen ? — Quite right. 

So there was nothing to make you uneasy so far as seeing 
there was no light in the kitchen was concerned ? — Not 
up to that moment. 

Not until you got in ? — Yes, there was. 

What was there before you got in, with reference to the 
light in the kitchen, which made you uneasy ? — When I 
tried the back door on my first attempt, in walking away 
from it I looked through the back kitchen window, and I 
could see across at the angle that there was no light shining 
in the kitchen. 

If the door was shut, there would not have been ? — I 
had no reason to know it was closed, and finding no light 
naturally made me uneasy. 

Surely if she was in the kitchen, sitting making herself 
comfortable for the evening, would you not expect the 
door to be shut ? — No, not necessarily. 

But she had a cold ? — Not necessarily. 

A woman with a cold being left in the kitchen, would 
you expect her to have the door closed ? — Yes. 

I put it to you that when you say you were made uneasy 



by seeing no light in the kitchen, you were not in a posi- 
tion to see whether there was or was not ? — I was. 

When were you looking through the window in the back 
garden? — ^After my first attempt to open the back- 
kitchen door. 

Before the Johnstons had seen you ? — ^Yes, before I 
went round to the front door the second time. 

Then, is this the fact, that when you could not get in the 
first time you looked through the window and that made 
you uneasy ? — I think that was the order of it. 

Is that so ; do you know ? When Mr. Roland Oliver 
was examining you just now, you said, When I could 
not get in, I thought nothing. When I knocked at the 
back, I thought she might have gone to the post ” ? — 
That is quite possible. 

Then you were not uneasy ? — I was both uneasy and not 
uneasy, if you can follow me. It was a very difficult 
position, and I did not quite know exactly what I did think. 

You made your usual knock on the door ? — Yes. 

You knew she might have gone to the post ? — I thought 
she might have gone, or might be upstairs. I did not know 
quite what to think. 

You were uneasy at the tramway junction ? — Yes. 

And you continued uneasy on the way home ? — ^Yes, 
but I was not unduly alarmed. 

Do you swear that you were talking to nobody outside ? 
— I do. 

You know who Miss Lily Hall is, do you not ? — Until she 
appeared in the witness-box I never saw her to my 

You had heard of her, had you not ? — No. 

Through your wife ? — No. 

Someone called Hall you had heard your wife talk of 
in connection with the church ? — ^Y es, but I do not know 
this one. 



She says she has known you for many years by sight ? — 
Possibly ; I do not know. 

I am putting to you that you had no reason to be 
suspicious when you returned home, because you knew ? — 
Knew what ? 

What exactly had happened in the house ? — ^How could 
I know ? 

Both doors were locked ? — ^Yes. 

You heard Police Constable Williams say you said, 
‘‘ My wife accompanied me to the back door, and walked 
a little way down the entry with me. She returned and 
bolted the back-yard door.” You never said that ? — 
Yes, I did ; but I cannot swear that she actually bolted 
the door, because I did not hear it. 

Do yourself justice and listen. “ My wife accompanied 
me to the back door, and walked a little way down the 
entry with me.” — I do not accept that. 

Did she do that ? — No. 

Did you tell him that ? — I do not think so. 

You heard him distinctly say you told him that, because 
he thought at the time when her back was turned some- 
one had got into the house ? — I heard him say that. 

And you say you did not say that ? — I am sure, because 
my wife would never come down the back street with me ; 
we always parted at the back door. I feel convinced that 
what I said to Police Constable Williams was : ‘‘ She came 
down to the back door, and bolted it after me.” 

Did you hear her bolt it ? — No, I did not. 

When you went and you found that the back door 
would not open, did that increase your uneasiness ? — 
Yes, it made me feel that things were not quite right. 

Had you been to the front first ? — ^Yes. 

What had been your experience with the lock there, 
that it had just slipped back and would not open ? — No, 
I could not make my key turn at all on the first occasion. 




Suppose it was bolted, could you make your key turn? — 
Ordinarily, yes. 

Did you know that your lock was out of order and 
wanted coaxing ? — ^We had had trouble with it from time 
to time for quite a long period ; it had occasionally got 
stuck, and we had had to oil it on purpose, but we never 
had had any difficulty in getting in. 

But occasionally, when you turned too far, the catch 
slipped back ? — No, I never had that experience with it. 

On this occasion at the front door, you could not turn 
the key at all ? — ^At first, no. 

At the back door, what was your position ? — I tried it. I 
got hold of the knob and it would not open ; the bolt 
would not shp back. 

Is it your view that the door there was locked or 
bolted ? — No, it is not, not now. I probably thought so 
at the time, but, on considering it, I think I am wrong in 
that view, because I think that the thing had stuck, as it 
did on many occasions. It was usual with the back door. 

As it was a thing it often did, what made you so uneasy ? 
It did increase your uneasiness, did it not? — It was 
unusual for me to go to the front door and find I could 
not open it, and when I went round to the back and could 
not open it, and got no answer to my knock, then, natur- 
ally, I was a little bit uneasy. 

You know you did tell Police Constable Williams that 
you tried the front door and found it bolted ? You 
remember that ? — Yes. 

That is what you are saying now ? — ^Yes. 

Do you remember having a long conversation with 
Superintendent Moore, when he showed you how the door 
worked ? — I do not remember the conversation, except 
that I knew we did have a coversation. I mean to say, I 
do not remember the details of the conversation ; I know 
there was a talk. 



You remember him asking you — I will have the exact 
words — about the working of that lock ? Is this what hap- 
pened : Superintendent Moore and Inspector Gold were 
together, and did they call you out and ask you for your 
door-key ? — ^Yes, I think that is correct. 

Did Mr. Moore then try the key in the lock ? — ^Y es, I 
think so. 

And found that the lock would turn to a certain point, 
but if the key were turned too far round, the lock would 
slip and the door again be locked ? — ^Yes. 

In your presence ? — ^Yes, that was my own experience. 

That had been your experience ? — On the second 
occasion on which I went to the door. 

And on previous occasions ? — No ; as I said before, 

But that had happened to you on the second occasion 
when you went to the door — ^Yes, on that night. 

He says he tried the key in the lock and opened the door 
and entered the house. Then he said to you : “ I could 
open the door all right, but the lock was defective ” ; and 
you said : It was not like that this morning ’’ ? — It was 
not, as far as I could tell you. I had entered the house on 
the previous night at about half past ten, when I came 
from the Chess Club, and had no difficulty in opening the 

Did you say a word to him about it having been locked, 
bolted ? He has sworn you did not. — Did I say what ? 

A word to him about that front door having been 
bolted ? — I cannot say whether I did or not. 

Did you say a word to him about your experience with 
the lock the second time you went there being the same as 
his ? — I cannot recall it. 

All you did say to him was, It was not like that this 
morning ’’ ? — ^Yes, I think I did. 

I put it to you that imtil he pointed out that he knew 



how the lock was working, you had never suggested that 
it worked in that way ?— I may not have suggested it, but 
I knew that it was so. 

Now see what you said when it came to your statement 
on the 20th, Exhibit 42. This was after he had pointed 
this out to you. ‘‘ I then went back to the front. I was 
suspicious, because I expected my wife to be in and the 
light on in the kitchen. I tried my key in the front door 
again, and found the lock did not work properly. The key 
would turn in it but seem to unturn without unlocking 
the door.’’ I put it to you that in that statement you had 
merely dictated what you had seen him do that night ? — 
No, I simply told the truth. 

But you never told him you had had such an experience 
with the key ? — I have had a lot of experience with it I 
have not been able to tell anybody. 

And did you tell him that that door was bolted ? — I 
cannot remember. 

You see I am putting to you, that neither of these doors 
was either bolted or locked, and that this suggestion that 
they were bolted was purely play-acting ? — You may 
think so, of course, but you are wrong. 

Had you ever knocked at the front ? — That night ? 

Yes ?— Yes. 

Loudly ? — Very gently. 

Was it your ordinary knock at the door ? — ^Yes. 

And it had attracted no attention ? — No, I got no 

Did you knock loudly, or call ? — No, I did not call. 

Your wife’s bedroom would look down on the yard ? — * 

There was a small light in it ? — There was. 

Did you think of calling to her ? — I did not. 

You did not call in the front ? — I did not. 

You knocked gendy ? — I did. 



When you went round the second time and found the 
key was not working properly in the door, or the lock 
was not working, did you call then ? — No. 

Not at all. Then we know when the Johnstons came, 
the first question you asked them was, “ Have you 
heard anything unusual to-night ? ’’ — ^Yes, that is quite 

Did you really think, merely because you could not 
unlock the doors at once, that something terrible had 
happened then ? — I did not know what had happened ; 
I simply knew that I could not get in either at the front or 
the back, and that was an unusual circumstance to me, 
and I simply enquired of my neighbours if they had heard 
anything unusual. 

What would have happened if she had gone to the post ? 
— I would be in the same position, I would not be able to 
get in, but the chances are she would not have bolted the 

So this is the position : You are outside there, your wife 
may have gone to the post, and you asked the neighbours, 
“ Have you hear anything unusual ? ” — Yes. 

Do you remember Inspector Gold asking you whether 
you thought there was someone in the house when you got 
back ? I think that was page 53. That was when the 
statement. Exhibit 42, was taken. Do you remember him 
asking you if you thought anyone was in the house when 
you got back, and do you remember your answer ? — No, 
I do not. 

“ I thought someone was in the house when I went to 
the front door because I could not open it, and I could not 
open the back door.” Do you remember saying that ? — 
No, I do not. 

Do you still think that when you were there you thought 
there was someone in the house ? — No, I do not. 

You have given that theory up ? — ^Yes. 



Did you ever believe it ? — I might have done at the 

Now I pass to another point, the bar of iron. You have 
heard Mrs. Draper say that for nine months she has been 
there every week, and that bar has been by the gas- 
stove either standing up or lying down ? — I heard her say 

Are you a smoker ? You are ; you smoke cigarettes ? — 

It was kept to clear out cigarette-ends and other things 
from underneath the gas-stove ? — I heard he: say that. 

You also heard Professor MacFall say that this would be 
exactly the sort of thing that could be used ? — I heard him 
say that. 

You used that room whenever you used a room for 
music ? — ^Y es. 

And in the winter you would have the fire lighted ? — 
Yes, frequently. 

Have you seen one like that before ? — No, not one like 

You have never seen a bar of iron such as Mrs. Draper 
referred to ? — I have not. 

You realise how very easy it would be to get rid of it, 
do you not ? — I do, yes. 

Do you remember, when Mrs. Johnston was there, 
suddenly saying to her what you heard her say yesterday, 
that you glanced round the room and said, ‘‘ Whatever 
have they used ? ’’ Do you remember saying that ? — No, 
I do not remember that. 

Why should you have assumed that something in the 
house had been used to murder your wife ? — I do not 
know that I did assume that. 

You realised . . . — I realised that my wife had been 
struck by some weapon ; that is all I can say. 

And your suggestion is that obviously she had been 



Struck by a man who had arranged for your absence ? — 

And yet you glance round the room, and you say, 
‘‘ Whatever have they used ? ” — Quite naturally. 

You think that is quite a natural remark to make ? — I 

Now I will pass to another point, and that is the mackin- 
tosh, about which I want to ask you something. When was 
it that you first noted the mackintosh? — Either the 
second or my third visit to the room. I think the second. 

The second or third visit to the room ? — I think that 
was with Mrs. Johnston. The first visit, I had not time to 
see anything at all ; I simply saw that she was lying there, 
and I lit the gas and rushed out. 

You are quite clear that you did not notice it when you 
first of all came and found your wife there ? — Yes, I think 
I am satisfied I did not. 

When did you become satisfied of that ? — I cannot really 
tell you precisely at what moment I did. 

Just listen to what you said. On the evening of the 
20th, when I discovered my wife lying on the floor, I 
noticed my mackintosh lying on the floor at the back of 
her.” — I cannot remember whether it was my first or 
second visit. 

That was your recollection on that night ? — That looks 
more likely to be correct than my statement now. 

On that night, your recollection was that you had 
noticed it when you discovered her on the floor ? — After 
I had lit the gas ? 

Yes ? — That is so. 

Then, when Mrs. Johnston was there, later, with you, 
you say to her, as she says, bending down and looking at 
it, Whatever was she doing with my mackintosh ? ” as 
though you were making a discovery. You had already 
discovered it ? — I do not think my statement implied that 



I was making a discovery for the first time. It was a natural 
query to me. It was there, and I wondered what the 
dickens she was doing with it. 

You noticed that I was careful to get from Mrs. John- 
ston as to whether you knelt down and examined it, 
and she described what you did ? — Yes. 

You remember her husband had never seen it, and she 
did not, till you pointed it out, and the impression you 
made upon her was that you had just discovered it ? — I 
do not know what impression I made upon her. 

But you had not just discovered it ? — Evidently not. 

Mr. Justice Wright — All she said was that she noticed 
it first when he fingered it. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Yes, my Lord ; I was not sure, there- 
fore I did not put it. I think she said she happened to look, 
and he fingered it. 

Mr. Justice Wright — ^Y es. 

Mr. Hemmerde — ^You see what I am putting to you. 
If you were describing things that really happened, you 
would be accurate, like when you said your wife went 
down the entry and things of that sort. Here you may be 
wrong about what you said that night about having 
noticed it when you first came in ; but what I am putting 
to you is, you said it that night, apparently giving her the 
impression as though you had made a discovery, “ What- 
ever was she doing with my mackintosh ? ” 

Mr. Justice Wright — No, I do not remember that. 
She was not asked about what her impression was : she 
simply described what she saw. 

Mr. Hemmerde — I have it down : “ Whatever are 
you doing with my mackintosh ? ” He stooped down and 
fingered it, and she said, “Is it yours ? ” and he said, 
“ Yes, it is mine.” 

Mr. Justice Wright — But she did not say anything 
about what her impression was. 



Mr. Hemmerde — Very well, my Lord. 

Mr. Justice Wright — I heard no evidence of any 

Mr. Hemmerde — My Lord, I could not ask her what 
her impression was. 

Mr. Justice Wright — N o, I know. 

Mr. Hemmerde — Then I will not put it in that way. 

( To the witness) Then, later, you say that it is an old one 
of yours, to Police Constable Williams and Sergeant 
Breslin ; and you know that Mr. Johnston says that he 
never saw it at all ; Mrs. Johnston says that she never 
saw it until it was pointed out ; Constable Williams says 
that he never saw it until the second light was lighted. 
You heard that ? — I have heard a number of pieces of 

But you noticed it at once, according to your statement 
that night? — ^Yes, I accept that. 

You say that, going into that room, you lighted the gas 
on the right because you always light that one ? — ^Yes. 

By the time you went across to light it, you had actually 
seen your wife lying on the floor ? — ^Yes, I had. 

When you stood at the door, it is correct, is it not, that, 
with the kitchen door open and the light on, you cannot 
only see into the room, but can actually see the subject- 
matter of the pictures in the room? — I rather question that. 

Evidence was given yesterday by people who had just 
tried it. I put it to you that unless you thought there was 
someone lying on the floor you had no reason to strike a 
match ; you could have gone straight over and lit the 
gas ? — I very rarely went into the room without striking 
a match to light the gas. 

That would be your usual habit ? — ^Yes. There were a 
number of things about, and you might blunder into a 
chair or knock something over. 

Had your wife ever had fits ? — ^No, she had never 



actually had a fit. She was subject to heart attacks, but 
I have not actually seen her have a fit. She was not very 
strong, and I have known her to be sitting in the kitchen 
and have to be taken upstairs to bed, having had an attack ; 
but she has not had a fit, although that was my impres- 
sion when I saw her. I held the match up, and thought 
she must have had a fainting fit and fallen. 

When you saw her, was not your first impulse to dash 
forward ? — My first impulse was to see what had hap- 

When you had lighted the gas and you had found her 
lying there, did you then move towards her with a cry 
of affection or pain or anything ? — Yes. 

Did you ? — Of course I did ; but I did not shout out 
or cry out. 

How long did you stay there before you went out to 
the Johnstons ? — Possibly half a minute. I simply felt her 
hand and then rushed out. 

And then you came back ? — es, came back. 

You know that in this house, you have heard it stated, 
there was no evidence whatever of breaking in ? — Yes, 
that is so. 

And no evidence that anything was taken except the 
that you say were in the cash-box ? — That is so. 

No evidence that the drawers upstairs had been rifled ? 
— No, no evidence ; as far as I could see, I do not think 
anything was. 

The notes upstairs in the vase had not been touched ? — 

The dollar note in the cash-box had not been touched. 
Did you see the condition of the front bedroom ? — I did. 

Did that strike you as having been genuinely tumbled 
by a thief or arranged by an assassin ? — It did not strike 
me either way. 

Your suggestion is this, I understand ; this is your 



theory as outlined by Mr. Oliver : that someone came 
there, introduced himself, was allowed to come in, had 
the fire lighted for him in the parlour, and, as your wife 
leant down, crashed her head. Is that it ? — That is the 
suggestion, I think. 

And having done so, and struck her eleven blows in 
all, turned off the gas-fire and went out ? — I do not know 
what he did. 

Does that strike you as being a probable thing, that a 
man would remember to turn off the gas and go out ? — 
In view of the fact that the mackintosh had been burned, 
I should say “ Yes.” 

Does it not occur to you as strange, that a total stranger, 
coming there murdering your wife, should have troubled 
to turn off the gas ? — No, not very improbable. I expect 
he would turn off the incandescent light, and he would 
see then that he had left the stove on, and it would be 
natural that he would turn that off too. 

Why, because to someone passing it would show a 
reflection showing the house was inhabited ; why turn 
it off? — I cannot explain his actions at all. 

Of course you know that the thief had left the money 
in your wife’s bag untouched ? — ^Yes, I know that. 

He had not been very thorough ? — No, I should not 
think so. 

Your idea is that he came for your weekly debit ? — 

Do you imagine he was looking in the bed upstairs for 
that ? — No, I do not. 

When you went upstairs, you found the light turned 
down in your bedroom ? — ^Y es. 

Not turned up by any thief ; nothing, apparently, had 
been done in there at all ? — No, nothing. 

You had no recollection of having left it on when you 
went out ? — ^Y es, I do. I remember quite distinctly. 



That is not what you said originally ? — ^We always left 
it on if either of us went upstairs in the evening to wash 
or do anything ; the gas was never turned out, it was left 

That was a long habit of yours, you say. Just remember 
what you said to Police Constable Williams about that. 
“ Was that light burning when you entered the house ? ’’ 
— that is the middle bedroom. Did you reply to him : I 
changed myself in this room before leaving the house, 
and probably I left the light on myself’’ ? — Yes, that is 
quite right ; that is probably what I would do. 

Did you ever tell him you were in the habit of leaving 
it on ? — I do not know. 

Now, I want to come to the case of Mr. Beattie. Why 
should you recognise it as an indiscretion to press Mr. 
Beattie as to the time of that call ? — If I was a suspected 
person, I realised that it was unwise for me to be discus- 
sing the case with a man who might possibly be called as 
a witness in any charge. 

Mr. Wallace, you were a man who had lived, for fifteen 
years was it, happily with your wife ? — Yes ; sixteen 

Do you mean to suggest to my Lord and the jury that 
you ever had the slightest fear of anything the police 
should find out ? — No, I had no fear at all of what the 
police could find out. 

You had none ? — No. 

Then why should you have been in the slightest degree 
worried about any indiscretion ? — Because I realised that 
I was being suspected, and anything I might have done 
or might have said might be misconstrued. 

Did you, as well as knowing Menlove Avenue, know of 
the address ‘‘ Menlove Gardens ” ? — I had never heard of 
it before. 

You had not ? — No. 


evidence for the defence 

And you now say that when you came back from Men- 
love Avenue that night, and that district, you are con- 
vinced that the front door was bolted, but that the back 
door was only stiff? — Yes, that is so. 

I put it to you that that front door was in the condition 
it had been for a veiy long time, and the back door was 
the same ?— As far as the locks are concerned, yes, that is 
so ; the back door had been like that for years, sticky. 

And the front door ? — The front door had been out of 
order for quite a while, but not seriously, and I had not 
had that experience before. 

Had you ever known before, the key not to turn in the 
lock ? — No, and we had not been unable to get in with 
our keys. 

How long were you trying altogether to get in that 
night? — Not many minutes — possibly half a minute on 
the first occasion, and I would go round to the back, pos- 
sibly four or five minutes altogether, not more, till the 
Johnstons came out of their house. 

You could not open that door ? — ^Which door ? 

That front door ? — No, I could not get it open. 

But you saw the Superintendent open it at the very first 
time ? — Yes, that is true. 

Close the door, and go out in the street, and open it 
without any difficulty ? — But I could not open it, because 
the bolt was on it. 

But the key ? — I said the key slipped back. 

You never told him that ? — I do not know whether I 
told him that, but I tell you that. 

Re-examined by Mr. Roland Oliver— In your very 
first statement, taken on that morning of the murder, this 
passage occurred : “I arrived at Wolverton Street at 
8.45. I pulled out my key to open the front door and 
found it secure.” — ^Yes. 



Whether you told him of that, I do not know, but that 
is the expression. Reams of statements have been taken 
from you ? Can you profess to recollect word by word all 
the things you have said ? — I cannot. 

Can you recollect anything you have purposely told 
the officers that was not true ? — I cannot. 

My learned friend asked you, at the beginning of his 
cross-examination, whether, if you were going to play 
the violin and be together, you would not have gone and 
played in that room, and you said you would, and the 
fire would have been lit and the light put on. Do you 
remember ? — Yes. 

My learned friend suggested that there might be two 
scores on the piano, one for the violin and one for the 
piano. When you play the violin, do you use the music- 
stand ? — Yes. 

There is a music-stand there ? — ^Yes. 

When you were playing the violin with your wife, were 
you accustomed to do it when you were naked in a mack- 
intosh ; was that your habit ? — ^What was that ? 

To play naked in a mackintosh ? — I have never played 
naked in my life. 

I have the diary. With the suggestions that are made, 
my friend has asked you about two questions from your 
diaries. Have they been in the possession of the police 
since your arrest ? — I do not know the precise date ; they 
were taken from the house, but shortly after the murder 
was committed. 

There are four of them? — ^Yes. 

You were asked as to whether you had been to a place 
called Calderstones, which was put to you to show that 
you had been there twice and would have to go through 
Menlove Avenue ? — Yes, that is so. 

With regard to one thing that is in the diary, it is sug- 
gested that in this week you had only got £ 4 .. You told 



US in chief, before I had your diaries, that you were ill on 
the Saturday and could not remember ; do you remem- 
ber ? — ^Yes. 

Here is your diary : ‘‘ Saturday, January 17th. Had a 
slight attack of ’flu all day and did not do my usual col- 
lection. Prevention is better than cure. Steeped my feet 
in mustard and hot water followed by a cupful of whisky 
and hot water.” Is that your entry ? — Yes. 

Then, next day, these are your very last entries— and I 
am reading it for that purpose — before the 20th : ‘‘ Mus- 
tard worked wonderfully,” [etc., reading to the word 
“ chill ”], Then you talk about the people you had to see, 
and a lot of scientific points. You were interested in 
scientific matters, were you not ? — Yes. 

Then, finally, on the Sunday : “ Have not touched the 
fiddle all day. It is unusual to let Sunday go by without 
some practice ” ? — ^Yes. 

It is suggesed that you never told the police about 
having visited Mr. Crewe’s house on the evening of the 
20th when you found yourself in Green Lane. It seems 
you never did mention it in any of your statements, but 
were you telling the police the names of all the people 
you had spoken to in order that they might trace your 
movements : is that what you were doing ? — Yes. 

That is your own case ? — ^Yes. 

Professor James Edward Bible, examined by Mr. 
Roland Oliver — I think you are a Fellow of the Royal 
College of Surgeons, and a Professor of Pathology at the 
Liverpool University ? — That is so. 

With regard to rigor mortis as a means of ascertaining the 
time of death. What do you say about it as to its being a 
reliable or unreliable test ? — Taken by itself it is a very 
unreliable and inaccurate guide to the exact time of death. 

Does it vary with intervals ? — Yes, considerably. 



Taking it generally, a frail, ill-developed, such a woman 
as this, fifty-three years of age, would that tend to acceler- 
ate or retard it ? — It would tend to accelerate it. 

You heard Professor MacFall say, that when he first 
examined the body in the neighbourhood of ten o’clock 
there was stiffening of the neck and some stiffening of the 
left upper arm. I know there must be large limits either 
way, but what time would that indicate to you was most 
likely the time of death ; what time would it be consistent 
with death ? — Putting myself, as far as possible, in 
Professor MacFalPs position, I should be inclined to 
estimate death at something under three hours or four 
hours previously. 

That would mean it might be after seven, or it might 
be before six ? — Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright — I suppose it is very difficult to 
say exactly ? — Yes, my Lord. It is an enormously difficult 
subject, full of pitfalls. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^Would you yourself ever set 
out to express an opinion from rigor alone as to the time of 
death, or would you take other things into consideration ? 
— I should naturally take all other possible means of 
estimating the time of death into consideration. 

And put them all together ? — ^Yes. 

What is the usual method adopted in such cases ? — The 
rectal temperature of the body at the time it is found. 

That was not taken ? — I gather not. 

If you had been setting out to estimate the time 
of death, would you have taken that temperature? — 

In your view, should it have been done ? — Certainly. 

Would you expect anyone who was observing the 
progress of rigor ^ from the point of view of calculation of 
the time of death, to take notes of his observations ? — 
I should certainly do so in my own case. 



Does the rapidity of the passing off of rigor throw any 
light on the rapidity of its onset ?— It may give some 
indication, but not a very accurate one, not very helpful. 

Your evidence comes to this, that, judging as well as you 
can from the material before you, death might well have 
taken place after seven o’clock ? — ^Yes. 

Or very well before ? — Yes. 

But you cannot say with any degree of certainty when 
it took place, on these materials ? — No. 

Now, let me come to something else. You have heard a 
description of the blows that were struck upon this unfor- 
tunate woman’s head ? — Yes. 

The first one when she was probably half-way up, the 
others when she lay on the ground ? — Yes. 

We must all agree there would be a certain amount of 
spurting of blood. What do you say as to the likelihood 
of an assailant being covered with blood from that 
operation ? — I should say he could hardly escape being 
spattered and covered with blood all over. 

Would fresh blood squirting impinge upon such a thing 
as a mackintosh and make a similar mark? — Yes, it would. 

Have you looked at this mackintosh ? — ^Y es. 

Did you find such a mark ? — I was shown one. 

Do you think it is one ? — It might be interpreted as one. 

With regard to the clot of blood. Have you any view 
to express about whether blood only shed two minutes, 
dropping from a height of fifteen inches on to a hard 
substance like a porcelain pan, would retain the shape 
that has been described to be the shape, one-third as 
high as it is wide ? — No, not in my experience. It would 

Have you any view to express as to how old the blood 
would have to be before it is sufficiently solid to be able 
to drop and to retain its form ? — I should put it as a matter 
of hours. 




If you drop an absolutely fresh drop of blood on a thing 
like a porcelain pan, what happens to it ?— If it drops from 
a height, it splashes ; and if there is anything near at 
hand, it makes a flattened blob like a saucer upside down. 

There is one other thing Professor MacFall said, calling 
attention to the condition of the blood in the room. There 
was only a little serum exuded, and that had an effect in 
his time test. What do you say as to the amount of serum 
you would expect after giving your own time, three 
hours ? — ^The exudation of serum should be proportionate 
to the amount of blood present. 

We are told what it was altogether ; we are told alto- 
gether probably a pint and a half? — I should expect a 
considerable amount of exudation of serum. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — I understand that 
so far as the rigor mortis is concerned, you take three to 
four hours as being the limit ? — I said, in regard to the 
condition in this case as detailed by Professor MacFall. 

That is what I meant, three to four hours ? — Something 
under three to over four hours. 

As regards clotting, have you tried any experiments 
with fresh blood, blood under two minutes old and over 
two minutes, as Mr. Roberts said he had done ? — ^Yes. 

What Mr. Roberts said was, that blood two minutes 
old was dropped by him in the form that he showed. You 
heard what he said ? — Yes. 

Your experience was different to that ? — Quite. 

Dr. Robert Coope, examined by Mr. Roland Oliver 
— ^Are you Honorary Assistant Physician to the Liverpool 
Royal Infirmary ; and Lecturer in Chnical Chemistry, 
and Acting Demonstrator in Medical Pathology, at the 
University of Liverpool ? — ^Yes. 

Have you made a very large series of tests with regard 



to the clotting of human blood ?— One hundred and 
fifteen experiments in all. 

The proposition is with regard to that clot on the edge 
of the water-closet pan ? — ^Yes. 

Mr. Justice Wright— Had the drop of blood which 
formed that little thing been coagulated, or was it fresh 
when it fell on that pan ? — I should say, my Lord, it was 
at least an hour coagulated or, I think, considerably 
longer ; and the reason I give for thinking it considerably 
longer is in the drying of it. Certain experiments have 
been made. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Before you come to that, will 
you just answer this ? In your view that clot must have 
been an hour at least away from the hand that shed it, 
before it fell from that hand ? — es, an hour. 

And you think very likely longer ? — Yes, I do. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — ^You have not seen 
this clot ? — I have not. 

You made these experiments recently ? — I have. 

For the purpose of giving evidence here ? — Yes. 

You heard what Mr. Roberts said this morning about 
his experiments ? — I did. 

They must have been very surprising to you ? — Yes, 
they were. 

You can suggest nothing that will reconcile your 
views ? — Nothing. 

Your experiments have yielded entirely different re- 
sults ? — Quite. 

Can you help us upon this question, does female blood 
coagulate quicker than male blood ? — Very slightly, yes, 
but it varies. The text-books give you definite figures, but 
it varies from patient to patient. 

Allison Wildman, examined by Mr. Roland Oliver — 
I am sixteen years old, and in my spare time I deliver 



newspapers. I remember the evening of the day on 
which Mrs. Wallace was murdered. I began delivering 
newspapers on that evening at twenty past six. 

You go along Wolverton Street, where you deliver 
papers to Nos. 28, 27, 22, 20, and 18 ? — ^Yes. 

No. 27 is next door to No. 29, Mr. Wallace’s house ? — 

The doors almost touch ? — That is right. 

When you delivered your paper at No. 27 that evening, 
what was happening, if anything, at No. 29 ? — I saw 
a milk-boy standing on the top step of No. 29. 

Did you notice anything he was wearing ? — He was 
wearing a collegiate cap. 

Have you seen the boy Close since ? — ^Yes. 

Was that the boy ? — Yes, that was the boy. 

Tell us, will you, what time that was ? — I passed Holy 
Trinity Church clock at twenty-five to seven, and it takes 
me two minutes to walk to Wolverton Street, so it would 
be twenty-three minutes to seven when I got there. 

When you went away, where was the boy? — Still 
standing on the step. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — ^All that you 
remember was, that at the time you said to your mother, 
“ I saw another boy there about 6.35 last night ” ; that 
was just after you heard of the murder ? — Yes. 

And I suppose “ about 6.35 ” is the very nearest that 
you can get ? — No, I can distinctly remember twenty-five 
to seven by the church clock. 

I suppose you look at the church clock every time you 
pass ? — ^Yes. 

Douglas Metcalfe, examined by Mr. Roland 
Oliver — ^You work for Mr. Yates, 51 Breck Road, as a 
paper-boy ? — ^Yes. 



Do you remember the night of Mrs. Wallace’s death ? — 

Were you anywhere near Wolverton Street that eve- 
ning ? — ^Yes. 

What time ? — About twenty or a quarter to seven. 

Why do you say that ? How do you know the time ? — 
I had to go to the Parochial Hall to deliver a paper to 
Mrs. Davies, and I asked one of the men what time it was, 
as I wanted to go to a match, and one man told me. 

Twenty to seven.” Then I went to Campbell’s, and 
stood talking to some boys outside. 

That is Campbell’s Dancing Hall ? — ^Yes ; and I 
went back to some boys and stood talking about five 

Who did you see? — I saw Wildman going down an 
entry leading off Wolverton Street. 

You saw Wildman leaving Wolverton Street ? — Yes. 

Were you in this group on the evening of the 21st, the 
day after the murder, with Elsie Wright and the others ? — 

Did you hear Alan Close say what time it was that he 
had seen Mrs. Wallace alive ? — Yes ; he said it was a 
quarter to seven. 

Have you any doubt about that ? — No, sir. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — ^You knew the 
importance of it ? — Yes. 

What was the importance of it ? — I heard some people 
saying Mr. Wallace went out at a quarter past six that 
night, and Close said he saw Mrs. Wallace at a quarter to 
seven ; and I said, “ The police ought to know that, 
because it could not have been Mr. Wallace if he went out 
at a quarter past six.” 

You heard he had gone out at 6.15 ? — It said that in the 



Yes ; and the only interest you had was, Close had 
seen him afterwards ? — es. 

I suggest that what he said to you was that he had seen 
her between 6.30 and 6.45 ? — No, he never said that ; he 
said, point-blank, a quarter to seven. 

Kenneth Campbell Cairo, examined by Mr. Roland 
Oliver — ^You live at 3 Letchworth Street ; and you are 
fourteen years of age ? — ^Y es. 

Did you, on the evening of the 21st January last, hear 
Alan Close say what time he last saw Mrs. Wallace alive ? 
— ^Yes ; he said a quarter to seven. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Hemmerde — ^Was what he 
said, a quarter to seven,” or, “ 6.45 ” ? — quarter to 

Had you been discussing at the time what had appeared 
in the papers, that Mr. Wallace had left at 6.15 ? — I had 
not been discussing what was in the papers, but I was 
talking to Alan Close when he came up, and I was told by 
Elsie Wright. 

What had you been told ? — They told me Alan Close 
had seen Mrs. Wallace the night before at a quarter to 

Before Alan Close came up ? — Yes ; and when Close 
came up he told us himself. 

Someone had told you before that he was going to say 
that ? — ^Yes ; and when Close came up he said it as well. 

Did he ? He said, “ A quarter to seven ” ? — Yes. 

At that time, did you know that Mr. Wallace had left 
at 6.15 ?— No. 

You did not know that at all ? — No. 

Then you had not the least interest in the time ?— No. 

Not the slightest ? — No. 

Or any reason for remembering it ? — I went home and 
told my mother about it. 



Have you ever heard what he did say was, Between 
6.30 and 6.45 ” ? — No ; he said, A quarter to seven,” 
not, “ Between 6.30 and 6.45.” 

David Jones testified that he had delivered the Liverpool 
Echo every evening for four or five years at 29 Wolverton 
Street. He stated that on the evening of the murder he 
delivered the paper at twenty-five minutes to seven, and 
that he saw nobody at the house. 

Louisa Harrison, examined by Mr. Allen — ^What is 
your full name ? — Louisa Harrison. 

You live at 1 1 Pennsylvania Road, Liverpool ? — ^Yes. 

Have you known the accused, Mr. Wallace, for about 
three years as an agent ? — ^Yes. 

Did he call on you on Tuesday, the day of the murder ? 

At about what time ? — About half past three. 

Did you notice anything unusual about him in any 
way ? — Nothing at all. 

Did he appear to have been crying and dabbing his 
eyes with the end of his sleeve ? — He was joking with me. 

Amy Lawrence, examined by Mr. Allen — ^Your full 
name is Amy Lawrence ? — ^Y es. 

You live at 16 Londonderry Road, Liverpool ? — ^Yes. 

Have you known Mr. Wallace for some time as a col- 
lector ? — For twelve months. 

Did he call on you on the day of the murder ? — ^Yes. 

What happened on that afternoon ; did you invite him 
in ? — ^Yes. 

What happened when he got inside ? — My husband 
asked him to have a cup of tea, and he had one. 

What was he like ? — He was the same as usual. 

Margaret Martin, examined by Mr. Allen — ^You 
live at 19 Eastman Road, Liverpool ? — ^Yes. 



Have you known Mr. Wallace for two years, as an 
insurance agent? — Yes. 

Did he call on you on Tuesday, the day of this murder, 
the 20th January ? — Yes. 

At about what time ? — I cannot give the correct time. 

About, approximately ? — ^About half past five ; it 
might be anything up to ten minutes. 

Up to ten to six ? — No, not up to ten to six ; between 
half past five and ten to. 

Did he leave a form for you to sign ? — Yes. 

Did he explain the business ? — ^Yes. 

Was it with regard to the surrender of a policy ? — ^Yes. 

How did you find him ?— Just the same as he has ever 
been since he collected ; calm, and the same in appear- 

Mr. Hemmerde — No question. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — That is the case, my Lord. 

[The Court adjourned.] 




M R. Roland Oliver — Members of the jury, by 
the rules of procedure in our Courts, as I have called 
witnesses in this case, I have to address you before my 
learned friend. That means that my learned friend will 
have an opportunity of replying upon any argument that 
I use : I shall have no opportunity, of course, of answering 

Members of the jury, there are two facts in this case 
which, in my submission, are essential facts in determining 
guilt. One is : Who sent the telephone message ? The 
other is : At what time have the Prosecution proved that 
Mrs. Wallace was killed ? With regard to who sent the 
telephone message, I said to you yesterday what I have 
to say about it : it is not my purpose in this address to 
repeat over again what I said to you yesterday. You 
were good enough to listen to me with a courtesy and 
patience which I have never known before, and it would 
be wrong to repeat the arguments I then used. I ask 
you : How does the evidence stand on that matter ? and 
I ask you whether, on that evidence, you can possibly 
say that Wallace sent the telephone message. Now, with 
regard to the second essential question. At what time 
have the Prosecution proved that Mrs. Wallace was 
killed ; there are two branches of evidence upon that : 
(i) the medical evidence ; and (2) the boy Close. With 
regard to the medical evidence, it stands in this way, does 
it not ? You get such deductions as can be drawn from 



the onset of rigor mortis. You have Professor MacFall saying 
that, in his opinion, death was caused four hours at least 
before ten o’clock. Well, that is wrong, and the reason 
I say it is wrong is, of course, because she was seen alive 
long after six o’clock. The solution of that matter is given 
to you by Professor Dible. But rigor mortis taken alone is 
a hopelessly fallible test ; it is not a test at all. You have 
got to take it with all sorts of other things, including the 
temperature of the body, which was never taken at all. 
Does not the medical evidence stand in this way : rigor 
mortis cannot place the death? There is an element of 
error of at least an hour either way ; and that is how 
I ask you to treat it. I accept quite candidly that, upon 
the medical evidence, the death might have taken place 
at such a time as Wallace might have been there, but 
I submit to you that, looking at the whole of the facts, it is 
not a bit more likely to have taken place then than after 
Wallace had gone ; and there is another fact which 
points considerably in Wallace’s favour, and it is this : 
Professor MacFall’s evidence upon what is called the 
exudation of serum, that is the liquid part of blood which 
becomes expelled and remains liquid while the main mass 
gradually coagulates and forms a spot. Professor MacFall 
told you that when he arrived on the scene there was 
only a slight exudation of serum. You will be astonished, 
therefore, looking at that fact, to hear that Mrs. Wallace 
had been dead even as much as three hours if there was 
only a slight exudation of serum. You follow the point. 
If she had been dead three hours at ten o’clock, she died 
at seven : if she had been dead for less than three hours, 
she died after seven. That is the point, and for what it is 
worth I leave it. 

Now, let me come to what is at least positive evidence, 
not speculation or matters of chance like that matter of 
rigor mortis or serum, and that is the evidence of the boy 



Close. Do you appreciate this, that the question of when 
that woman was last seen alive, so far as the Prosecu- 
tion’s case goes, rests upon the word of that boy, and the 
value of his recollection, that at that particular moment 
on that evening he looked at a clock and saw it was 
twenty-five minutes past six. The whole of it depends 
upon that, because it is from that that the police have 
built up this case, that he got there as early as half past 
six, by means of a marvellous experiment in which the 
boy covered the distance I described yesterday, which he 
admitted, first of all, as six minutes, and, by apparently 
some process of speeding up, five minutes. If that boy 
stood unchallenged, you might say : “ Well, we have 
seen him, and we do believe that he looked at the clock 
at twenty-five minutes past six.” Does he stand un- 
challenged ? What do you know about him ? Have you 
a shadow of doubt, that within twenty-four hours of this 
crime — when he had no interest either way, and before 
the police had interviewed him, just recording the fact 
— he said to his street companions whom I called : “ I 
saw her last night at a quarter to seven ” ? Why should 
that be wrong ? That is the boy’s unaided recollection. 
So much did it impress the boys and girls that he spoke 
to, that one of them said : ‘‘ If that is so, you ought to go 
to the police, because according to the papers Mr. Wallace 
went out last night at a quarter past six, and if you saw 
her alive at a quarter to seven he could not have done it.” 
The case for the police here is : “ When no one suspected 
you, how did you know you were suspected ? ” Why, the 
very children in the street suspected him. Of course he 
would be suspected. Are you satisfied that that boy saw 
her at half past six, or do you think he saw her at a 
quarter to seven ? You saw his demeanour when that 
matter was put to him. I said, Did you not tell those 
other children the next night that you saw Mrs. Wallace 



at a quarter to seven?” Answer: Then event- 

ually : Well, I said between half past six and a quarter 
to seven.” That is the boy upon whose evidence you are 
asked to rely absolutely. Do you doubt that he went to 
the police and told them it was a quarter to seven ; do 
you doubt it ? I asked the two witnesses about his state- 
ments. Do you doubt that at the moment the police 
decided to charge Mr. Wallace, a quarter to seven be- 
came quite hopeless for them, because Mr. Wallace has 
established, by evidence that cannot be controverted, 
that he left the house at about a quarter to seven. Mem- 
bers of the jury, are you satisfied now on that boy’s evi- 
dence ? The police elected to leave the question of the 
time that Mrs. Wallace was last seen alive. Why ? 

So much for Close’s evidence. You saw Wildman, the 
first boy I called, and you had an opportunity of judging 
his demeanour. There was no hesitation about him. He 
is not a coached witness, you know ; he has not been 
brought into line. If he had been brought into line, he 
would have known, and said, “ At a quarter to seven, I 
saw him on her doorstep.” Not at all. He gives the time 
at 6.37 or 6.38 ; it is between half past six and a quarter 
to seven. You follow that is the time he puts it at. Then 
it is said : ‘‘You did not give your statement for a long 
time afterwards.” But on that night, in that district, there 
happened an event which imprinted itself upon the mind 
of every man, woman, and child in that neighbourhood ; 
and do you think that the boy whom you saw, Wildman, 
did not have it indelibly imprinted on his memory in the 
next twenty-four hours ? In the next twenty-four hours 
it was stamped on his memory with regard to the time. 
Why was not his word as good as that of Close, and why 
did not the police call him ? Here is a man on trial for his 
life. Why have not the police called all the witnesses who 
can assist you? That is one of them. Now, here is another. 



David Jones delivered the Liverpool Echo that night at that 
house, and he delivered it not by ringing the bell and 
seeing Mrs. Wallace, but by putting it in the letter-box 
and leaving it. The police take a statement from him 
within two days, and he told them that he delivered that 
paper at half past six that evening. That paper, opened, 
and apparently read, was upon the kitchen table, and I 
think it actually appears in one of the photographs of the 
room in the kitchen. That paper had been taken in, and, 
for aught we know, read ; at all events, there it lies on the 
kitchen table. Is that a fact which throws no light upon 
what time Mrs. Wallace was last seen alive ? 

Now, members of the jury, Mrs. Wallace was alive at 
half past six, because I do not suppose anyone would 
suggest that, after committing the murder, Mr. Wallace 
went and took that paper out of the letter-box and put 
it on the table. You may probably remember that in one 
of his many interrogations he was asked whether there 
was anyone he would expect to be arriving after he left, 
and he said : “ I cannot think of anyone except perhaps 
the paper-boy.” If that paper arrived when he was 
upstairs preparing for his journey, that would be per- 
fectly consistent. But you know what it shows is beyond 
doubt, that that poor woman was alive well after half 
past six o’clock. 

Now, let me pass from that to something else. I spent 
some time yesterday — and, indeed, believe me when I 
say it is not my purpose to repeat myself— in discussing 
with you what Wallace had got to do in the time at his 
disposal, whatever it may have been, to get himself 
completely clean so that he could pass the eagle eye of 
Inspector Gold, as he did that night. I have told you the 
things he had got to do, and all I want to say now about 
it is this : This Prosecution have got to satisfy you of the 
case they bring against the accused. What is their case ? 



It varies from day to day. At the police court it was 
this : Wallace in a mackintosh killed his wife. No sug- 
gestion then that he was naked. They come here, and 
some genius has observed that he was dressed ; he must 
have had blood upon his clothes — the mackintosh, and he 
must have had blood upon his trousers, too. That will not 
do for us, because he must have got rid of his clothes. He 
could not have washed them ; he must have got rid of 
them. So we have the learned Recorder suggesting he was 
naked. And that raises another difficulty, the problem of 
the bath, which I pointed out yesterday — naked ! But 
then there was sprung upon them this, in the cross- 
examination of Superintendent Moore. It is rather funny 
that these two should be in that room at all together, the 
visitors’ room, with the gas lit and the fire on. It is rather 
funny. How could they get there at all ? Then we get the 
counter-blast of that yesterday, by the learned Recorder 
cross-examining Wallace. He said : ‘‘You were playing 
the violin there in the evening. Look at these two pieces 
of music on the piano ” — ^he ignores the violin-stand — but 
“ look at these two pieces of music on the piano.” What 
has happened to the music ? What happened to the naked 
man and the mackintosh ? Could you conceive the pic- 
ture of the husband naked in a mackintosh coming in to 
play the violin ? That has gone. But, of course, it goes 
with its concomitant troubles, because it brings back the 
clothes. One word more about the mackintosh, and I 
have finished. Here, Professor MacFall sought to suggest 
to you that there were typical spurts of blood upon the 
mackintosh, showing that blood had squirted upon it and 
upon the assailant. He sought to suggest that there were 
many of them. He said : “ I can show two that are 
typical”^; and he showed you two. If there was one 
word of truth in that, why was it left to this trial ? Not a 
word of it, or a hint of such a suggestion, was made at the 



police court. It must be perfectly obvious. May I show 
you this picture, members of the jury ? You have only to 
look at it to see what happens when a horrible deed like 
this is done. That picture is the most eloquent witness for 
me in this matter. That mackintosh has got two things 
which are equally consistent with being splashes which 
have projected, or splashes which have dripped, and only 
two with the absolutely typical sort of soda-water effect. 
If they were upon the mackintosh, they would have been 
shown to you, and would have been shown at the police 
court. I ask you to absolutely reject that, and say, if that 
had been upon the assailant it would have had typical 
splashes like this picture on the wall, and probably many 
more, because the assailant would be so close. But it has 
not got them. Therefore, that mackintosh was not upon the 
assailant, and, therefore, it must have been round the 
shoulders, or somehow upon the dead woman. And do not 
forget this, members of the jury, it is partly burned. Have 
any of you a shadow of doubt it got burned by some 
accident, and at the same time as that women’s skirt got 
burned ? Why should the assailant burn his mackintosh ? 
It was obviously done by accident, and obviously, in my 
submission, the same accident. 

Now, members of the jury, I pass from that and come 
to another more or less less vital matter in this case, and 
that is the clot upon that w.c. pan. I am only again 
addressing you about these things because I have called 
evidence about them. How does the evidence stand about 
the clot on the pan ? The case for the Prosecution is that 
that clot fell within a minute or two of the murder. 
Professor MacFall, in his evidence, admitted to me it takes 
some time for blood to coagulate, and when it first coagu- 
lates it does so in the form of a jelly which is so soft that 
if you drop it it would splash. It would take about an hour, 
he admitted to me — and this is on the evidence, you know 



— to be solid enough to be dropped and remain as it was 
without splashing. Then he tried to suggest that that faint 
smear in the direction of the inner part of the pan was a 
splash. That, of course, I ask you to say is not, obviously, 
what my doctors told you, the fact being, with a moist 
surface it slightly exudes and flows in the direction of a 
fall, admittedly from the top of the pan inwards. That was 
Professor MacFall, and that was evidently a terrible blow to 
the Prosecution, because yesterday morning, at the very 
end of their case, you were again called upon to hear Mr. 
Roberts. He had made experiments in blood, which showed 
that you could form a clot of that character dropping 
fifteen inches on to a hard surface two minutes after it has 
been exuding. Members of the jury, do not let me mince 
matters. I am going to ask you to disbelieve that evidence ; 
and I will give you the reason why I ask you to disbelieve 
it. If it stood alone, you need not believe it, but it is now 
utterly contradicted by two men of science, one Professor 
Bible, whom you have seen, and Dr. Coope, who, as a 
specialist, performed over one hundred experiments for 
this very purpose. Those two men of science told you, and 
it is for you to say why you should not believe them, it 
would take at least an hour. Now if it would take an hour, 
it did not come off the accused Wallace. If it took any- 
thing like an hour, it did not come off Wallace. That is 
how that matter stands, and I ask you to say it must be 
perfectly obvious, now that you have had all the evidence 
before you, that that clot on the pan somehow or other got 
picked up by some of the many people among the twelve 
people, police and others, who were in that house on that 

Now, with regard to the blood on the notes, I said what 
I have to say about that yesterday, that slight smear on 
one of the notes. You have got this additional piece of 
evidence now, a thing no one knew before it was given in 



evidence. It was put by my learned friend the Recorder, 
but I think it was volunteered in answer to my question — 
a thing I had not heard from the accused himself. He 
said he probably picked them up, and probably he may 
have done it if he counted them in the middle like that, and 
there is a smear of blood on one. What other explanation 
is there, members of the jury ? Of course you cannot answer, 
I know, but what other explanation can there be ? Why 
should it be part of his scheme after he had murdered his 
wife to take out four £i notes and put them in ajar on the 
bedroom table ? It is no part of his scheme at all ; it does 
not help him. 

Now, I pass from that, and there is not very much more 
I am going to deal with, but what it is is mainly this : I 
have called him, and I asked you before I called him, to 
observe him when he was in the witness-box, and I know 
you did. I suppose it is going to be said by my learned 
friend the Recorder, ‘‘ What a cool man.’’ If he had been 
an agitated man, and if he had blundered, I suppose my 
learned friend the Recorder would have said, “ Did you 
notice his demeanour ; do you think that is the demeanour 
of an innocent man ? *’ You can put anything against an 
innocent man you like. Is there no such thing as calmness 
of innocence ? Did you notice the way that man answered 
the questions ? Did you hear him fence or prevaricate 
once ? Did you hear the frankness of his evidence, and 
apparently entirely untroubled ? I was impressed with a 
phrase I had not heard before I came into this Court : 
“ He has put himself upon his country, and you are his 
country.” My friend asks you to look at his demeanour. 
I ask you to say that his demeanour in the witness-box 
was that of an absolutely innocent person, absolutely. 
Has any sort of inroad been made upon his character, or 
upon his antecedents ? I told you what they were in my 
opening speech. If they had found out anything about 

Qw 241 


him, you would have heard of it. You know what his 
friends, and people who knew him, thought of him ; you 
know what his life has been for fifty- two years. You know, 
you cannot doubt, his devotion to his wife or to those 
friends. With regard to his character in this case, the police 
took possession of, and have retained, the diary of three 
years of his life — obviously honestly kept. It is very full, 
and if you want to look at it, it is there. The story of his 
life from inside — what the man has written himself, his 
own thoughts, his own feelings — and, if you look at it, 
of his companionship with his wife, which corroborate 
him in the only manner in which it could corroborate, 
because he first of all said he collected on a Saturday, and 
then corrected himself and said he did not, and one looked 
at his diary and found that he could not have done so, and 
it was a perfectly honest mistake. Members of the jury, 
are you going to convict that man of murder ? That is 
what it comes to. Is the case proved against him ? 

Now, members of the jury, take some of the things 
which were put to him in cross-examination, and see how 
frank he was. It was put to him, by my learned friend the 
Recorder that, when the telephoning took place on Jan- 
uary 19th, “that would have been a splendid opportunity, 
would it not, to have gone and robbed your house when 
you were known to be at the Chess Club ? ” That may be 
argued again. He frankly said it would have been. But, 
members of the jury, do not forget the argument against it. 
He is not arguing his case, you know ; he is just answering 
the questions. The argument against it, keep in your mind. 
They could not know if they saw him go out, and were 
watching him, that he was going to the Chess Club. They 
might think he might go there, and being the ordinary 
pay day of the Prudential it is said that would be the most 
likely day to get a good haul. That is the answer, not given 
by him, but mere argument coming from me ; and I ask 



you to weigh it. Then the next thing put to him is this : 
‘‘ You had two doors to this place and there must have 
been two watchers.” Is that an insuperable difficulty ? 
Do you think that is unlikely ? Do these sort of people, if 
they did this, never work in pairs ? My learned friend 
seems to think it helps his case that two iron instruments 
are missing from the house. I do not know how he says 
that points to Wallace. Then the next thing : “ You knew 
Menlove Gardens ; look at your diary. There are two 
visits to Calderstone and some to Woolton Park,” which is 
towards Menlove Avenue. Of course he had been along 
Menlove Avenue, but when you go along a back street 
like that, you do not go along memorising the names of 
the side streets. I pass that by. The next one is : “ You say 
to-day, you visited Mr. Crewe’s house when you were up 
there that evening. Why did you not tell the police so ? ” 
The answer is this : “ I did not tell the police that, because 
I was telling the police the people I had seen and spoken 
to, in order that they might go and get corroboration of 
what I had said.” “ Those are all the people that I can 
remember I spoke to,” is the phrase in the statement. 
What is the use of telling the police, to assist their enquiry, 
that he had gone to a friend’s house and could not get 
in ? You know Mr. Crewe was out that night. Why should 
not he be telling the truth about it ? The next point made 
against him was this : “ When you got to your house and 
could not get in, why did not you shout ? ” What is the use 
of calling out at the front door when his wife would be 
either in the bedroom, which is away from the front, or 
in the kitchen ? At the back door, he was knocking. How 
can it be said against a man, “ When you knocked and 
could not get in, why did not you call ? ” What is the 
good of calling if he had knocked. He had knocked and had 
not been heard. Is that against him ? The next point is that 
Police Constable Williams said that he said his wife came 



part of the way down the entry with him. Just think. 
Every word a policeman says, I suppose, is to be taken as 
gospel. Police Constable Williams is only a human being, 
and Police Constable Williams had gone in there and 
heard a long statement. I have counted it. It is about 
one hundred and fifty words — the first statement. He 
had gone there and heard a long statement, asked ques- 
tions and got answers, and immediately afterwards 
Constable Williams had sat down and made a note of 
what was said. Do you think it is necessarily proved that 
all Constable Williams said is true ? I am not suggesting 
he invented anything. A mistake can be made between, 
“ My wife came down the entry with me,” and, “ My wife 
came down the yard with me.” Then, with regard to the 
bolted door, Wallace Scdd, “ I did not say, ‘ bolted the 
door.’ I think I said, ‘she would bolt the door.’” Is that, 
merely an inaccuracy, to be pressed against this man? Just 
look at the state of mind of the man at the time, having 
just discovered this shocking crime. If that was his state of 
mind, do you think it should be pressed ? 

Then, my learned friend made capital out of this : He 
got Wallace to admit that a wrong address was essential 
to the creation of an alibi. Wallace is not aruging his case, 
you know ; he is not an ingenious man who is thinking out 
the best answer he can give. At the most that is only a 
matter of opinion, but what do you think about it ? Do 
you think that is the true inference, that the wrong address 
should only be given by a person who is preparing an 
alibi ? Members of the jury, just consider this : If that 
telephone message was sent by a criminal, do you see no 
value in his giving the wrong address ? If he gives the right 
address — ^well, I should not say that because he would not. 
But the point about the wrong address is this, that it gives 
him time. Of course, for the criminal there is no right 
address. He might give the name of a person who lives 



in the street, but, if he did, Wallace could go and knock 
at the door, and ask. “ Yes, I am Mr. So-and-so.” “ Have 
not you got business for me ? ” Reply : “ I have never 
heard of you in my life ” ; and he would go back at once. 
A wrong address is going to keep him away from that 
house for the next half an hour. It is not the time to commit 
the crime that is being played for ; it is time to get away. 
Do you see no value in a criminal giving the wrong 
address ? Of course there was. 

Then with regard to the turning out of the lights : Why 
should the criminal turn out the lights ? I say to you, if 
that is going to be said, why should Wallace turn out the 
lights ? I will tell you why either should turn out the lights. 
If either were the criminal, I suppose the first thing when 
the mackintosh caught fire and the skirt caught fire would 
be to turn off the gas, then, when the time came to leave 
the room, would the light be left on by the criminal ; would 
he leave it on ? Of course he would not. Why, anybody 
coming along, the window of that room being on the front 
street, seeing a light in the room, a friend of Wallace, 
might knock at the door. No answer. “ That is funny ; 
there is a light in there.” Wallace, if he were planning this 
murder, why should he turn out the light ? If the Recorder 
is going to say the criminal would leave it on, why should 
not Wallace leave it on ? He would say when he came into 
the house : “ I saw a light and I went straight in.” 

Then as to what he did when he came back. He does 
not find his wife downstairs, and he goes upstairs, and 
searches in the only place where he thought he would find 
her, and it is suggested that he knew she was not there all 
the time. Then, finally, the suspicious conversation with 
Mr. Beattie ; the thing that was said to be an indiscretion, 
you know. “ Oh,” says the Recorder, why should you 
think you were suspected ? ” “ Well,” he said, “ I had 
reason enough to think I was suspected. The very children 



in the streets suspected me.” He was obviously suspected ; 
and when Mr. Beattie says to him, If I were you I would 
not talk about this, because what you say might be 
misconstrued ” — I went over it yesterday ; I will not do it 
again — the officers go to him and say, “ What did you 
want to know the time for ? ” and he says, Well, I had 
an idea — ^we all have ideas — ^it was indiscreet of me.” Is 
that to be taken against him ? 

Now, members of the jury, what the Recorder is going 
to say to you now, I can only guess, but I wonder if he is 
going to explain to you some of the things he told you 
about before ? I hope he will not think I am making that 
complaint to him personally, because Mr. Recorder 
puts before you arguments and evidence which are given 
to him by his clients. I wonder if he is going to explain to 
you how he came to tell you there was no money in this 
house, in fact there was a very little, but that was a mere 
accident ? I see him making a note. Let him note this 
then. His own witness, Mr. Crewe, said there might be 
expected to be anything between £20 and or, if it 
was a monthly collection, £80 to ;£^ioo in cash. He tries 
to escape by saying that Mr. Crewe is a friend of Wallace. 
All the more to Wallace’s credit if he is. Does that mean 
that he is not going to tell you the truth ? See how ill this 
comes from my learned friend. They could have proved 
it exactly if they liked. What was to prevent them going 
to the Prudential, a thing that any ordinary Prosecution 
would do, and calling the Prudential, with their books, to 
prove this thing properly ? What was to prevent it ? They 
have got the power. Instead of that, he calls a witness who 
gives you the figure : I call Wallace, who corroborates 
him. Then my learned friend is apparently going to say to 
you : You need not believe my witness Mr. Crewe,” 
And, how is he going to explain his telling you that no one 
wotild know that Wallace would be at this Chess Club on 



the 19th ? The police must have told him that ; everybody 
who used that cafe would know if they wanted to. How 
is he going to explain his telling you that Close knew the 
time very accurately ; and how is he going to explain to 
you what he said, that Wallace went to the wrong room 
first? I wonder what you would have thought, and I 
wonder what my learned friend would have said, if 
Wallace, going into that house on that night, had gone 
straight to the last room in which an innocent man would 
expect to find his wife ? I wonder what he would have 
said, and I wonder what he is going to tell you about 
missing the body ? Do you remember his opening : 
“ Going into a dark room he somehow missed the body 
and the blood ’’ ? It is their case now that it was a light 
room, a light reflected from the kitchen. A criticism is 
made because my client struck a match. That is the kind of 
stuff that has been put up to you, to try to convict this 
man. What is he going to tell you about burning the 
mackintosh ? He devoted between five and ten minutes of 
his opening in pointing out to you the extraordinary sig- 
nificance of the fact that the mackintosh was burned, and 
that no one but Wallace would have any necessity for 
burning it. Have you a shadow of doubt, on the evidence 
before you, that the mackintosh was burned by accident ? 
By some accident it got caught across that fireplace and 
burned. It is obvious, because there are the ashes in front 
of the fire. Who would seek to burn that ? And how 
is it the mackintosh was on the woman, and also the 
skirt ; and how will he explain the clot on the pan if 
Wallace did not take it ? How is he going to explain it ? 
How is he going to expladn this murder ? Is he going to 
adopt Professor MacF all’s suggestion that it was the 
sudden frenzy of a man who had planned it for twenty- 
four hours ? You have seen Wallace. Do you think he is 
mad ? And how is he going to explain this : If Wallace was 



dressed when this was done, where arc his clothes ? If 
Wallace was naked, how were they together in that room ? 
Where did he have a bath ? 

Members of the jury, I have finished. The onus in this 
matter, the burden of proof, is wholly upon the Crown. 
You have got a crime here without a motive ; you have 
got a man here against whose character there is not a word 
to be said ; you have got a man here whose affection for 
his wife cannot be doubted. You are trying a man for the 
murder of a woman, who was his only companion, for 
no benefit. The Romans had a maxim which is as true to- 
day as it was then : “No one ever suddenly became the 
basest of men.’’ How can you conceive such a man with 
these antecedents doing such a thing as this? Finally, if 
I may say so, it is not enough that you should think it 
possible that he did this — not merely enough, but it is 
not nearly enough. On looking at the two stories, you may 
say : “ Well, the story of the Defence does not sound very 
likely, but the story of the Prosecution does not sound 
very likely either ; and if that be the state of your minds, 
then he is entitled to be acquitted. I suggest that this 
should be the state of your minds : The story for the 
Defence is not very likely, but at least it is consistent with 
all the facts ; the story for the Prosecution sounds 


Mr. Hemmerde — May it please your Lordship, 
members of the jury. It now becomes my duty to address 
you finally on behalf of the Prosecution. My learned 
friend need have no doubt. I shall not ask you to wait 
until my Lord addresses you before you learn, that if you 
are dissatisfied with the story of the Prosecution and the 
story for the Defence, the Prosecution have failed to make 



out their case. I do not think any of you, having heard my 
opening speech in this case, could readily have been in 
doubt after you had heard it that, in accordance with 
what I regard as my duty, I put before you that the 
burden of proof was on the Prosecution, and you could 
not convict this man merely upon coincidences. 

Now I take my learned friend’s two points. Who sent the 
telephone message ? is the first vital point ; and. What 
time have the Prosecution established that Mrs. Wallace 
was killed ? is the second vital point. Let us take the facts 
on the first. The prisoner admits that on the Monday 
night about 7.15 he left his house. About 7.15 obviously 
may mean two or three minutes one way or the other. 
He gave that statement quite early on — I think the night 
of the murder — and that statement is not and cannot be 
varied. The telephone box is four hundred yards from his 
house. Walking five miles an hour, one would do that in 
rather under three minutes ; walking four miles an hour, 
in rather over. He is a tall man, and one could probably 
fairly give him a good four miles an hour walking at night 
at 7.15. From the telephone box, about three minutes 
from his house, someone tries to get through to the City 
Caff. My learned friend said : “ How did the Recorder 
get the fact that nobody knew or could know he was 
going to be there ? He must have got it from the police.” 
I did not, I got it from his client. In the deposition, as 
I put it to him. Inspector Gold, giving his evidence before 
the Magistrates, and again here, said : “ I asked him if 
he knew anyone who knew he was going to the club ” ; 
and, ‘‘ Had he told anyone he was going ? ” To that, 
Wallace said : No, I had not told anyone I was going, 
and I cannot think of anyone who knew I was going ” ; 
and upon that I based the statement that nobody would 
know that he was going or could know. It is suggested 
somebody might have looked at the match list up in the 



City Caf( 5 , and I think you know, from Mr. Beattie, that 
that was only provisional as people might never turn up 
for their matches, and have acted upon that. Now let me 
come back. Assuming he left the house on this three 
minutes' journey at 7.15, he could easily have been in that 
telephone box at 7.18 ; but by a singular coincidence the 
man who wanted him, Qualtrough, was in that telephone 
box at the identical time at which Mr. Wallace might 
have been there, and, by another singular coincidence, at 
that moment was trying to ring up Mr. Wallace. That is 
how it starts. The man in the box is ringing up at a time 
when, on Mr. Wallace’s own times, he might perfectly well 
have been there, and it was a box that he has used, and it 
was the only box, as my learned friend frankly admitted, 
anyone on such an occasion as this would be likely to 
use, because the other one wets in a Public Library or in 
a shop, and naturally a man doing a thing like this would 
not want to go to a box where he would be observed. We 
know, whoever he was, he went to a box where there was 
no light except an indirect light, and where anybody could 
perfectly well telephone without drawing any attention. 
The man in the box telephoned through to the City 
Cafe. Nobody but Wallace knew that Wallace was going 
to be at the cafe ; no one. That is his own story. The man 
rings up. Assuming for a moment that it was the prisoner, 
you can hardly imagine that he would ring up when he 
could speak to any member of the club without, to some 
extent, disguising his voice. You may think it difficult to 
disguise the voice. Some of you may have tried it before 
now and think it is pretty easy. That is entirely a matter 
for you. The voice on the telephone was confident and 
strong, but inclined to be gruff. If a person was imitating 
another person’s voice, you might imagine he might do so 
in a voice which would have all those characteristics. 
That is what is suggested : that the man who rang up 



there was the prisoner, and that he rang up no doubt 
disguising his voice. Now assuming that it was not the 
prisoner ; a man, whose name Wallace had never heard, 
a man who could not possibly know that Wallace would 
be at that place, because Wallace had told nobody, rings 
up the club, and leaves a message of an appointment for 
the next night at Menlove Gardens East with a stranger. 
The stranger cannot tell him whether Wallace is coming 
or not, but, if he comes, he will give him the message. 
He is asked if he will not ring up later. He says No,” he 
has got some function on, some twenty-first birthday 
party. If it was Wallace, obviously he would say he could 
not ring up later, because he would not be there. If the 
man had important business, and he wanted to speak to 
a man he did not know, do not you think he would then 
want to ring up later ? And, remember, when he was 
ringing up, he was four hundred yards only from the 
house of Mr. Wallace, and it is perfectly clear that he did 
not call there, and he did not leave any note there. What 
he did do, was to telephone up to a place where he could 
not know he was going to be. It is common ground that 
the man who rang up there, whether Wallace or another 
man, was planning the murder of the next night. There- 
fore, you would have thought he would be certain to see 
that his message was one which would get home to the 
person whose whereabouts he wanted to affect the next 
night. He does nothing of the sort. He leaves it with Mr. 
Beattie, who cannot even tell him that Wallace is coming. 
He never enquires afterwards whether Wallace came 
there and got his message, but he leaves the whole thing 
there in the air. Can you believe that any man planning 
a crime the next night would not first of all see definitely 
that that man would be safely out of the way ? What was 
there to prevent him sending a message to ask him to 
speak at a later time on the telephone ? Supposing it was 



Qjialtrough himself on the telephone, he could say : I 
will ring Up in an hour and see if he is there j and if he 
was not there, well and good. But can you believe that the 
man would leave it just to chance as to whether he got 
that message or not ? That is how we start : Wallace, 
leaving his house at a time which would perfectly well 
have brought him straight to that box, is not in the box, 
but, by a singular coincidence, the man who wants 
Wallace is in the box, and asking for Wallace at a place 
where only Wallace knows he is going to be. Within a few 
moments of that, just down the street, Mr. Wallace says 
he thinks he remembers posting a letter. You see how 
near he was, and you will realise the extraordinary coinci- 
dence of that. Remember that the next night, according 
to the story, Qualtrough must have taken all the steps on 
the assumption that that message got home to the man 
whom he wanted to move. Those are the events of that 
night, with this exception : I am not going to stress it 
again, but you will remember how the conversations took 
place there : “ Where is Menlove Gardens East ? ” Many 
of you may know Liverpool pretty well. It may occur to 
you that a man who wanted to know where Menlove 
Gardens East was had a perfectly easy way of finding 
out that night or the next morning. He goes home, talking 
to two club friends, dwelling upon the name “ Qjual- 
trough ” as being so odd, discussing the way he is going to 
get to Menlove Gardens East, and then, the next night, 
what happens ? He says he leaves the house at 6.45. He 
goes by tram, and he goes up on two trams. On one of 
them he actually mentions the address, Menlove Gardens 
East, three times to the conductor. He tells two of them 
that he is a stranger in the district — a man who had had 
music lessons a couple of hundred yards away from 
Menlove Avenue, a man who must have gone there going 
to Calderstones, as his diary points out, not only twice 



but more than that, because I only took two dates near 
one another. He points out he is a stranger in the district, 
and he then proceeds to talk to Green, the young clerk ; 
to go into a house ; to go down and talk to the officer ; 
and then, apparently, to go to one or two more places. 
He goes in and sees Miss Lily Pinches, again asking for 
Menlove Gardens East, having been told by the officer, 
and having been told by Green, that there was no such 
place. He is again asking for it there, and so far as we can 
see on his evidence he never does the obvious thing. We 
know he does not go and ask the police officer on point 
duty, who could have told him Menlove Gardens was 
just up the road, but there was no Menlove Gardens East. 
We have no evidence that he goes to his superintendent 
except his statement at the last moment, because he says 
he had heard that the superintendent was not in. But 
whether he went there or not, if he did not go, does it not 
strike you as a most singular thing that he never told the 
police of that vital fact, because if he had gone and asked 
Mr. Crewe, ‘‘ Is Menlove Gardens East up here ? *’ he 
would have known at once there was no Menlove Gardens 
East, as apparently everyone in the district whom he asked 
seemed to know ? That is how it strikes one as far as the 
Menlove Gardens East incident is concerned. Do you 
think that any man searching for Menlove Gardens East 
would ever have asked all those questions, and gone 
finally to that newsagent after being told even by the 
police officer that there was no such place ? Then you 
remember in examination in chief he said, when he found 
there was not such a place, he thought that Mr. Beattie 
must have made a mistake : I came to the conclusion 
a mistake had been made in the telephone message, 
either Mr. Beattie had got it wrong, or Mr. Qualtrough 
had given the wrong address."’ That is what he said, and 
you might imagine that was the natural thing he should 



have thought. But remember, according to his story, he has 
been induced to leave his house by a false address and 
false business being suggested to him. Supposing that he 
had not left his house, and had not gone after this business, 
then he would have stayed in the house — or might have. 
Supposing that he had looked it up in the directory or 
spoken to Mr. Crewe of the Prudential, and found there 
was no such place, he naturally would not have gone 
there, and yet this murderer, the other man, Qualtrough, 
must have assumed he would go, although the slightest 
thought, even if he believed his message had got home to 
him, would have told him he need not go at all, and, 
further than that, Menlove Gardens East or Menlove 
Gardens, let us say, is barely twenty minutes away by 
tram. Supposing Wallace thinks 

Mr. Roland Oliver — Mr. Recorder, that is quite 
wrong, not twenty minutes, it is more than half an hour 
according to your witnesses’ test. 

Mr. Hemmerde — I am obliged to my friend. I want to 
get my figures exactly accurate because I want you to 
see what this means. A man is waiting to murder this 
woman, he is getting another man out of the way, he 
sends him off a distance, I think we had it roughly, of 
about three miles. 

Mr. Roland Oliver — ^About four 

Mr. Hemmerde — About four It takes just over half an 
hour. At any moment an enquiry might tell him that there 
was no such place. If he had made the enquiry at the 
Penny Lane junction from the officer on point duty, he 
might have found there was no such place and returned 
straight home, which would mean he could perfectly well 
have been back at home a little more than an hour after he 
had left it. When you hear suggestions made that this 
murder may have been committed a considerable time 
after he left, you will bear that in mind, that the man had 



chosen an address so little distant away that, even assum- 
ing the man went on a tram and took no faster mode of 
locomotion, as probably he would go on a tram, he might 
be back well by eight o’clock. That is the position. Do 
you think any man would have run that risk for a 
moment ? You heard me put, yesterday, the suggestion 
that any man who had given the wrong address would 
undoubtedly confuse matters, and he would run the risk 
that someone might look it up and never go. Here you 
have got the position that this man might not have gone ; 
he could have returned quite soon. What he does do when 
he gets up there is to ask a number of people the informa- 
tion that he had already got from somebody else. My 
learned friend says at a future time he was very frank 
about all his movements. Really, that does not seem to be 
very improbable because, of course, according to the 
story of the Prosecution, he wanted the police to know the 
whole of his movements up in that district. If he was a 
guilty man, he would be perfectly frank with the police, 
in his own interest ; if he was an innocent man, he would 
have been perfectly frank with the police because he had 
nothing whatever to hide. Can you imagine under those 
circumstances that he would not have mentioned the fact 
that he had attempted to get the information from Mr. 
Crewe by calling at his house ? However, that is a matter 
entirely for you. I am content to point out to you up to that 
point, the inherent improbabilities of the story that he 
would first of all have ever gone there ; secondly, that the 
man Qualtrough would have dreamed he would have 
gone there ; thirdly, that Qualtrough would ever have 
known that he had gone there ; and you may be able to 
think of a number of other improbabilities. I do not want 
to press that. Wallace had come to the conclusion, ac- 
cording to his evidence yesterday, that he had made a 
mistake, and we find him making a statement, I think it 



was to Constable Williams, that he became suspicious 
and returned home. Why on earth should he become sus- 
picious and return home ? Could anything be more easy 
than to make a mistake on the telephone between Gardens 
East, West, South, or North, and to make that mistake, 
possibly, about a name, although the name being an odd 
one that is less likely. He then goes back home, and, 
according to him, he hurried back. According to the 
evidence of the Prosecution, he was not hurrying back 
particularly, because Miss Hall saw him speaking to 
someone. You heard her. She says she has known him by 
sight for years, and she immediately recognised the man, 
and she told her sister and told her father, who came down 
and told the police that same week, that she had seen 
Wallace there, She was going off to the second house at 
the cinema at 8.50, and she knows the time, but whether 
it is 8.40 or 8.50 does not matter. She saw him before he 
got to the house. My learned friend said : “ Have the 
police advertised for the man to whom he was speaking ? ” 
They have advertised. You may call spirits from the deep 
but not be sure that they will come. You may think that 
she has made a mistake, or, if she has not made a mistake, 
that the person will not come forward. It is only testing 
his accuracy when he says he returned home because he 
was feeling uneasy, suspicious ; and if you find him 
almost at once denying that he had a conversation near 
his house, which would suggest he was not hurrying home, 
if you find him not telling the truth, you would use that 
knowledge in testing his other evidence. Then he arrives 
home, and I want you to follow this, because if there is 
anything which I can safely rely upon, it is my duty to 
point it out to you. He reaches home. You have heard all 
the evidence about his being unable to get into the house. 
You find, first of all, he is unable to get in at the front. 
He hurries round to the back, and he is unable to get in 


there. In the front, you have heard from the locksmith 
that the lock has been in a certain condition obviously for 
a considerable time. We know that when he first of all 
spoke to Constable Williams he made the suggestion that 
both doors were locked against him He used the expres- 
sion, whether it was to Constable Williams, or to the 
Johnstons, “ Both doors are locked against me, or 
bolted.” Did he find that they were ? It is here that you 
have to look at the thing really searchingly. Remember 
that until the witness Superintendent Moore took charge 
of the question of the lock, he had said the front door was 
bolted. When Superintendent Moore showed him that he 
perfectly well understood how the lock worked, and 
showed that he could open it quite easily, you find him, 
in his first statement to the police, saying at first he could 
not get in because the thing would not turn, but after- 
wards that it turned in the way that the Superintendent 
has described. Do you believe for one moment that he 
could not get into that front door ? Do you believe he 
could not get into the back ? What are the facts at the 
back ? That the back lock had stuck. We know now 
that he goes round to the back. He, first of all, says 
he cannot get in, but Mr. and Mrs. Johnston are 
there, and Mr. Johnston has said that he will get a key 
if necessary — or Mrs. Johnston, I forget which. Then he 
says it opens now. Later in the evening we find him 
suggesting to the police that someone must have been in 
the house and have unlocked that door. He does not suggest 
that now. You heard him say yesterday, he did not suggest 
that any longer. If he is not really trying to get into that 
house, but trying to create an impression that he cannot 
get into the house, is not that a vital circumstance ? 
What would be the attitude of a man who had nothing to 
fear who came back to that house ? Would he ever have 
said to Police-Superintendent Moore when he is trying the 

Rw 257 


lock : “ It was not like that this morning/’ Is he not trying 
to suggest that the lock is in a different condition then to 
what the locksmith said it might have been in for quite a 
long time ? 

I started by saying what Constable Williams had said. 
But the vital point is, of course, that the prisoner has told 
you that he did not discover it was bolted until he went to 
let Williams in. But to Superintendent Moore, when he 
pointed out that the lock worked all right, he never 
suggested it was bolted at all. I suggest to you, that when 
you find variances like that, and when you have a discus- 
sion like he has with Superintendent Moore about the 
lock, no suggestion then of the bolt, and Williams in 
answer to me said he heard no bolt drawn back, he heard 
a fumble with the lock but heard no bolt, I ask you to 
draw a conclusion from that, that something was happen- 
ing that was not a genuine attempt to get into the house 
at the front door. Do you think that, used as he was to the 
lock sticking, he was making any genuine effort to get in 
at the back ? These are matters on which you have to form 
your view. I said to him : ‘‘ When you found a difficulty 
with the lock, why did not you call out in the yard ? as 
many of you might if you had lost your key or something. 
He did not say there was a light upstairs in his wife’s room 
but he did not call out. He gave the usual knock. If she 
had fallen asleep or anything and the light was turned 
down, that might not be enough. All these matters you 
have to watch carefully to see, first of all, if there are 
suspicious circumstances and that you appreciate them, 
and, secondly, if they do not strike you as suspicious 
circumstances, in fairness to the prisoner you dismiss 
them. You find him there. I put it to him : You made it 
clear to Constable Williams when you came to the back 
yard you could not see a light in the kitchen because the 
curtains were drawn ” ; and he said : ‘‘ When I looked 



into the near kitchen, I could see there was a light in the 
far kitchen ; and I pointed out to him if his wife had a 
cold, and the door was closed, he would know perfectly 
well that the near kitchen was not lighted. He goes in 
eventually, and Mr. and Mrs. Johnston stopped outside. 
He goes in and you followed his journey through the 
house. I do not want to press it. You have heard him say 
he called out twice and one of the Johnstons heard him ; 
and you also heard him say, in answer to me, when he 
found his wife : “ Did you not show some signs of emotion 
or affection ? ” and he said he did, he cried. If he did, 
no one heard it. There was no sound reached the John- 
stons. He came out a little agitated, and said : ‘‘ She is 
dead ; come in and see,’’ and they went in. 

Now remember this. The point is not really vital as to 
what happened upstairs at all. A great deal has been 
said, and a great deal of evidence has been called, as to the 
time at which that blood-clot got on to the rim of the pan 
upstairs ; and something has been made, too, as to the time 
at which the notes upstairs got touched with blood. Just 
take the facts as we know them. A Prudential agent, at the 
end of this week, after he had paid his outgoings, deducting 
them, of course, from his incomings, had left a balance of 
so he says. I put it to him that that must have been the 
usual condition, and he admitted that his usual industrial 
collection would be about 5(^30, round about £30, and 
from that there must be considerable outgoings. I would 
suggest to you that it is not likely that there was a very 
large sum left in the house, and for this reason. You 
remember how he told you that he put the Prudential 
moneys in a money-box without a fixed lid, and put it up 
on the shelf, and that he put upstairs in the bedroom, in a 
jam-pot, certain of their joint savings against the time of a 
holiday. And remember this : he said so careful were they 
not to leave money in the house that, whenever they went 



out, they took that money out of the jam-pot and took it 
with them when they were both out. People who were as 
careful as that you would have thought would not leave a 
very large collection in a cash-box without a fixed lid. 
Remember that the only possible motive that is suggested 
for anyone coining there, was to take the money that he 
would know would be there — as I put to the prisoner 
there are some 10,000 Prudential agents in the country. 
Here a murderer picks on one who has a weekly collection 
round about ;^30, and a monthly collection a fortnight 
earlier and a fortnight later amounting to anything 
between ^( 1*80 or 100 ! A person who would know about 
the Prudential agents goes there at a time when there can 
only be the balance of the weekly collection, and that is 
the object in getting into that house ! You remember he 
said that there was £4 missing from the cash-box, which 
apparently someone had climbed up to reach, and then 
felt about for the money in the cash-box, and taken it 
down — because they must actually have taken down the 
cash-box — and taken out the money and put it up again. 
As one of the police officers said to him, would a thief be 
likely to do that ? Then again upstairs, my learned friend 
said at one time, there was no evidence of anyone having 
gone upstairs. I do not think he could have meant that. 
It is clear somebody went upstairs, because the bed in the 
front room had obviously been upset. The prisoner did 
not suggest his wife had left it like that, and apparently 
the view he formed at the time was, that someone had 
disturbed that room. They had been up there, and 
whether that someone had dropped a clot of blood is a 
matter which you may or may not think is a matter of 
importance. You heard the accused in the box yesterday 
saying, obviously for the first time, because you remember 
the surprise it caused Mr. Roland Oliver, that he counted 
the notes upstairs. When I asked him was it the first time 



or the second he went up there and counted them, he said : 

I think it was the first ” ; and when I pointed out to him 
that he came down and said there was put there, he 
said he could not have counted them at that time. I do not 
want to press that unduly, but how do you think that 
blood got on that note ? At no time, he says, did he ever 
notice blood on his hands ; at no time did Williams see 
him take those notes out. Williams just lifted them, but 
no more than that. He certainly never saw the accused 
count them. 

Now, my learned friend has said that one has a theory ; 
that I have suggested a theory, that this man was playing 
the piano, or was down there playing music with his wife, 
naked and wearing a mackintosh. You know perfectly well 
I have suggested nothing of the sort. What I did say to 
you is, you must not attach too much importance to the 
fact that there is no blood found upon a man, because 
people have been known to commit crimes without any- 
thing on. In this case we know this : Here is a man who 
admittedly was changing upstairs ; he has admitted he was 
changing. It is clear that his mackintosh took some part in 
this matter. He has said he had never seen his wife wearing 
it under any circumstances. He has said that when she 
came down to see him off she was not wearing it then. It 
is suggested that when she went to answer the front door, 
if she ever did go to answer it, that she may have put it 
over her shoulders, and that is how it came to be there. 
Do you think there is the slightest ground for supposing 
anything of the sort ? He had never seen it ; and 
remember, the moment he comes, he says : “ When I 
first went in there, I noticed the mackintosh.” You 
remember afterwards, he says to Mrs. Johnston, who had 
not noticed the mackintosh, nor had Mr. Johnston : 

Why, what is she doing with my mackintosh ? ” I leave 
out the words about “ her mackintosh,” and “ mine,” 



because Mr. Roland Oliver made a suggestion which for 
the moment I accept, “ What is she doing with my mack- 
intosh ? ’’ and Mrs. Johnston said : “Is it your mack- 
intosh ? ” and he kneels down and fingers it and says : 
“ Yes, it is mine.” I am not going through the details 
afterwards, how he admitted to the police officers it was 
his ; and to another police officer he says : “If there are 
patches upon it it is mine.” I am not going into that. 
Those are very small matters, but I must just mention 
about this in passing, that when Williams asked him to 
describe what he did that night when he left the house, 
he said, according to Williams, “ My wife accompanied 
me down the yard, a short way down the entry ” ; and 
Williams says, “ I am perfectly certain he said that, 
because it flashed through my mind at the moment, did 
anyone slink in behind.” If he said that, you find him 
describing the last moment he was with his wife in two 
completely different ways, and I say, as I said in my 
opening speech, that if you find such inconsistencies as 
that, you must suspect the truthfulness of a man who, 
under those circumstances, describes in two different 
ways such a moment which must have been so imprinted 
upon his mind. I said just now that where I thought there 
was anything one could not press, I would say so. Let me 
take the question of the mackintosh. I said when I opened 
this case, that if you come to the conclusion that someone 
had set fire to that mackintosh, there was only one person 
that would have had an interest in destroying it. You have 
heard evidence that suggests to you that this mackintosh 
and the dress were both burnt by the gas-fire in that room. 
The evidence may satisfy you that that was the case, and 
that the burning of both those garments was the result of 
an accident. If you think that is the best way of looking at 
it, you can put it entirely out of your minds, subject to 
anything my Lord may say. The only comment I make is 



this : the Defence has suggested this room was never used 
except when visitors came. We know now this room was 
used, and used regularly, whenever they were having 
music, which was their occupation when they were at 
home all evening. You may remember there appears in 
the diary an entry that on the Sunday he had practised 
the violin, so apparently they were keen on music. He was 
keen to make progress, and that room might very well 
have been in use. Assuming for a moment that the person 
who telephoned that night before was the prisoner, what 
would be his attitude the next night ? Would he have said 
a word to his wife about going out ? Would not his natural 
impulse be to let things be as usual, to prepare the room 
there, while he changed after his day’s work upstairs ? 
Supposing that he had never told her he was going out — 
and, of course, if he planned this murder in the way 
suggested you may be pretty sure he would not — but, 
suppose that was the case and this woman had lighted the 
fire, prepared the room, and there is the piano with the 
music upon it, and that all was in order for one of their 
homely evenings like that, the whole of this business had 
been deliberately planned, and she was struck down in 
that room in the way that Professor MacFall, or any of the 
other witnesses have suggested, you have got there the 
possibility that if she was so struck down, there might have 
been the burning of her dress ; you have got the possibility 
that there might have been the burning of the raincoat, 
but who was wearing it ? Can you picture to yourselves a 
man coming into that house and taking up the nearest 
raincoat to put on to commit a murder ? There are marks 
under the arms of blood, where a man might put his hand 
through ; there are many marks of blood upon the rain- 
coat, some got from the floor, and two or three others, 
apparently direct spots, which might have been dripping 
from the body, but which. Professor MacFall thinks, are 



probably projected splashes upon it. You have the fact, of 
course, that the raincoat has had pretty rough usage, 
and there may have been more ; but can you accept the 
idea, supported by no probability, that she put the coat on 
herself that night ? If not, who was wearing it ; who was 
wearing that coat? Supposing the prisoner had been 
wearing that coat, and it had caught fire there by acci- 
dent ? Supposing that was so, is it not perfectly possible 
that he had interrupted his change of garments upstairs, 
and, using that coat, had come downstairs, not with a 
view to playing the violin naked in a raincoat, but to come 
down there while she supposed he was just dressing, 
getting himself ready, cleaning himself up for the evening’s 
music ? Then he comes down there and strikes her dead ? 
That is the suggestion made. You may think there is 
something in it. You may think there is nothing in it ; 
but you do not get rid of it by the humorous suggestion 
of my friend that a person does not play the violin naked 
in a raincoat. If this murder was done by the prisoner, 
it is admitted by my friend it was thought out in every 
detail. He must have made up his mind exactly when he 
was going to do it ; how he was going to do it, and with 
what weapon he was going to do it. He said to me nothing 
would be easier than to get rid of a weapon like that. It 
did not need him to say so. A thing like that would easily 
go down into the ground or into a drain. But in this case 
you are dealing with a man — ^if it was the man who tele- 
phoned up the night before — dealing with a man who will 
think out everything. That redncoat is there covered with 
blood. How did it come there ? I suggest someone wore it. 
Who is the most likely one to have worn it ? Putting out 
of your minds altogether the suggestion I put forward 
as a possibility, that someone tried to set fire to it, and 
assuming in the prisoner’s favour — and you will assume 
all things you can in the prisoner’s favour — assuming that 



was an accident, who would be likely to wear it ; and how 
does it come upon the scene at all ? Then you will 
remember the slightly different accounts given of it, and 
then you will remember this : For nine months, the whole 
time Mrs. Draper had visited that house, something like 
that iron bar had been standing up by the gas-stove, or 
down in the fender. For the first time, she missed it after 
this tragedy. It was there on January 7th, when she was 
last there, because she was trying to rake underneath the 
stove to find a screw that had fallen out of the gas bracket, 
so she remembered it. Do you think it is possible that the 
prisoner, living in that house, using that room for music 
and staying there, has never known that that thing, which 
was there when Mrs. Draper first came, had been there ? 
He does not say : I have seen it, but I do not know where 
it has gone.” He says : I never saw it in my life.” Do you 
believe that ? Assuming that he did this thing, and assum- 
ing that he had committed this murder with that weapon, 
ideally fitted for committing such a crime as Professor 
MacFall has said, assuming that is the case, then what 
would he naturally say when he comes into the room 
there, the murderer, having in mind what he has done ? 
What does he say, according to Mrs. Johnston, while he is 
standing there : “ Whatever have they used ? ” If he 
had done it with that, it had gone. “ Whatever have they 
used ? ” What could they have used ? That was in his house. 
He did not know there was anything like that in the house. 
Why should a man who had arranged to get him out of 
the house, and then come in and murdered his wife, have 
failed to bring a weapon ? Why should he think they had 
used anything that was in the house, because Mrs. John- 
ston, in no way an unfriendly witness, said : Glancing 
round the room, he said, ‘ Whatever have they used ? ’ ” 
You may think that was a remarkable statement to make, 
or you may draw no conclusion at ail from the fact that 



he said it. I am not going to stress the raincoat matter. 
You may take the view now that it caught fire accident- 
ally, and not that there was a deliberate attempt to burn it. 
Do not be led away from the main issue in this case by 
what after all is a very small matter. I drew attention to it 
in opening, because I said it was so remarkable as showing 
great care, that blood could be upstairs, on the pan, and not 
a trace of blood anywhere else in the room. You may or 
you may not accept the evidence of Mr. Roberts, the City 
Analyst, who, two days afterwards, made experiments 
long before he could have had the slightest idea that 
the prisoner was going to be charged. 

Now, members of the jury, the points I want to draw 
your attention to in conclusion are these : First of all, the 
overwhelming probability that the man who left this house 
at 7.15 on the evening of the 19th was the man who was 
in the telephone box about 7.15. He said three minutes 
later than that, 7.18. Only three minutes’ walk from his 
house there is a telephone box from which this call goes 
through. I suggest to you that on that part of the case a 
great deal points, if not everything, to the man there being 
the prisoner. As regards the time of death, the other point 
that my learned friend said was so vital, I submit that that 
also is easily established. The man who had made his 
plans, whether the boy was seen at 6.30 or 6.35 talking to 
this woman, had, between that time and 6.49, practically 
twenty minutes, and there is no reason to suppose that a 
man who had done a thing like that would go very slowly. 
If he did it, he was trying to create an alibi, and he would 
go as far as he could. I say there is ample time for it. 

Then you come back to this, which is the vital point : 
Those things being possible, are you satisfied beyond all 
reasonable doubt from things, one of which alone might 
not be sufficient but from all of them put together, are you 
satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that this is the 



man who did that murder ? Never mind about the clot of 
blood upstairs, never mind about any fine points about 
the notes. Can you believe that anyone would have ever 
committed such a crime merely for gain — the small gains 
in a Prudential agent’s house ? Even if you said : ‘‘ I cannot 
imagine that,” that would not be sufficient, of course, to 
bring it home to the prisoner. But are you satisfied from 
the prisoner’s attitude that he was an innocent man ? 
Firstly, was his attitude that night, and his repeated 
enquiries about Menlove Gardens East — were they 
natural ? Was it natural for him to say that when he could 
not find it he was suspicious ? Was it natural, or was it 
true, that he came back and could not get into the house ? 
— or was he pretending he could not get into the house ? 
Do the different stories about the locks front and back 
lead you to that conclusion ? Do you believe that Police 
Constable Williams can be trusted in the accuracy of his 
memory when he says that ‘‘ he told me he went down 
the entry with his wife ” ? If you can believe that, and 
Police Constable Williams gives his reason for it, if you 
believe it, then you have got corroboration again of 
unnatural lapses of memory as to what would have been 
a vital point, because the prisoner now says he said nothing 
of the sort. Do you believe the story that he could not get 
into the house ? Do you believe afterwards that two days 
later on the 22nd, when he is speaking to Mr. Beattie, 
and asking him if he could tell him exactly what the time 
was when the telephone message came, do you believe, 
when he subsequently said : Oh, that was an indiscre- 
tion,” that he really meant what he said he meant here, 
or do you attach importance to that conversation ? 

You can only convict this man if you are satisfied 
beyond all reasonable doubt on all these facts. Of course, 
the last word in this case comes not from me but from my 
Lord. You cannot convict him unless you are perfectly 



clear beyond all reasonable doubt that these matters to 
which I have been drawing your attention point with 
almost irresistible emphasis to the conclusion that he is 
guilty. If you do not think so, of course it will be your duty 
to acquit him. I hope nothing that has fallen from me at 
all in my opening speech, or in this my final speech, has 
led you to suppose anything of the sort. I am not entitled, 
I hope, to over- emphasise inconsistencies or coincidences 
in this case, but I am bound to suggest to you, on behalf of 
the Crown, that the evidence connecting this man with 
that message is strong evidence ; that the evidence that 
this woman was alive round about 6.30 is strong evidence ; 
the evidence of what that man did when he came back 
to the house is strong evidence that he was not acting 
then as an innocent man ; and I also ask you, having 
regard to what had happened, when he saw Mr. Beattie 
on that night of the 22nd, when he said : “ They have 
cleared me ” ; and Mr. Beattie replied : “ I am glad to 
hear it,” what did he mean by that ? Is that the attitude of 
a man who has known he is under suspicion, and is looking 
out as to how he is to meet the case ; who is unjustly under 
suspicion, and is doing his best to meet the case which is 
made against him ? I am sorry to have detained you so 
long, but in a case of this length I have felt it my duty to 
lay before you in considerable detail what I submit is the 
case for the Crown. 


Mr. Justice Wright — Members of the jury, we have 
now reached the last stage but one in this somewhat long, 
but not too long, trial. This is a charge of murder which 
you have to consider, and a murder charge against the 
prisoner. Now, that a murder was committed, and a very 
deliberate and a very brutal murder, there can be no 



doubt at all. As you all know, the crime of murder means 
the premeditated and deliberate and wrongful and 
felonious killing of another person. There can be no doubt 
at all here, that this poor woman was done to death by, 
first, a very crushing blow, and then, if she was not already 
dead, by a succession of ten other blows. It is not uncom- 
mon in the annals of crime that the murderer, having 
struck one blow, in some sort of insensate frenzy goes on 
to strike other blows. It does not follow merely from that 
that there can be any suggestion that the murderer was 
insane. In this case there is no question of insanity to be 
considered ; it could only be raised by the Defence, and it 
obviously was not raised, and could not be raised in the 
present matter, because it is perfectly clear that whoever 
murdered this woman did so in pursuance of a plan made 
the day before and commencing with the telephone mes- 
sage. Members of the jury, you, I believe, are living more 
or less in this neighbourhood : I come here as a stranger, 
and know nothing about the case until I come into Court 
or look at the depositions, and I need not warn you that 
you must approach this matter without any preconceived 
notions at all. Your business here is to listen to the evi- 
dence, and to consider the evidence and nothing else. 
You are not even entitled to act, in fact you would not 
act, upon the speeches of counsel. If in the speeches of 
counsel, either in the opening speech or any other speech, 
any statement was made which is not borne out by the 
evidence, you will disregard any such statement, and, as I 
have said before, you will come with an open and unpre- 
judiced mind to consider all this evidence given in great 
detail, and more or less difficult to put together, which has 
been put before you. 

This murder, I should imagine, must be almost unex- 
ampled in the annals of crime. Here you have a murder 
committed some time on an evening in January, committed 



in a populous neighbourhood in a house, and you have 
that murder so devised and so arranged that nothing re- 
mains which would point to anyone as the murderer ; no 
signs of anyone having come into the house forcibly, no 
finger-prints, no marks of blood anywhere in the house — 
I mean apart from the marks, due to the actual commis- 
sion of the crime round the woman’s head as she lay 
there — and no marks on the house. I disregard the little 
smear upon the note, which I will say something about 
later, but even that is not a finger-print, it is a mere smear, 
and no weapon that can be traced anywhere, and, so far 
as can be ascertained, no conceivable motive in any 
human being. It is a most remarkable murder, but there 
it is. There is no doubt that the woman was murdered, 
and there is no doubt that whoever did it covered up his 
traces, and evaded leaving behind any sort of trace what- 
ever. There it is. There is certainly no eye-witness, except 
the actual murderer, besides the dead woman, and, there- 
fore, the evidence in this case, and the evidence that can 
be brought against anybody here, is purely circum- 
stantial. You know in many cases, especially of murder, 
the only evidence that is available is circumstantial 
evidence, but circumstantial evidence may vary in value 
almost infinitely. There is some circumstantial evidence 
which is as good and conclusive as the evidence of actual 
eye-witnesses. In other cases, the only circumstantial 
evidence which anyone can present still leaves loopholes 
and doubts, and still leaves possibilities of other explana- 
tions, of other persons, and still leaves the charge against 
the accused man little more than a probability, and 
nothing that could be described as reasonably conclusive. 
If I might give you an illustration, supposing you have a 
room with one door and a closed window and a passage 
leading from that door, and a man comes up the passage, 
goes through the door into the room, and finds another 



man standing with a pistol, and on the floor a dead man ; 
the circumstantial evidence there would be almost con- 
clusive, if not conclusive. If, on the other hand, the 
conditions being much the same, there was an intruder 
who, hearing the pistol-shot, went into the room, and 
if there was another door and he went in and found a man 
holding a pistol, it might be perfeedy consistent with his 
having gone in, and the actual murderer being outside the 
door. The real test of the value of circumstantial evidence 
is : Does it exclude every reasonable possibility ? I can 
even put it higher : Does it exclude other theories or 
possibilities ? If you cannot put the evidence against the 
accused man beyond a probability and nothing more, if 
that is a probability which is not inconsistent with there 
being other reasonable possibilities, then it is impossible 
for a jury to say : ‘‘ We are satisfied beyond reasonable 
doubt that the charge is made out against the accused 
man.” A man cannot be convicted of any crime, least of all 
murder, merely on probabilities, unless they are so strong 
as to amount to a reasonable certainty. If you have other 
possibilities, a jury would not, and I believe ought not, to 
come to the conclusion that the charge is established. 

Then again, the question is not : Who did this crime ? 
The question is : Did the prisoner do it ? — or rather, to put 
it more accurately : Is it proved to your reasonable satis- 
faction and beyond all reasonable doubt that the prisoner 
did it ? It is a fallacy to say : If the prisoner did not do it, 
who did ? ” It is a fallacy to look at it and say : “ It is very 
difficult to think the prisoner did not do it ” ; and it may 
be equally difficult to think the prisoner did do it. The 
Prosecution have to discharge the onus cast upon them of 
establishing the guilt of the prisoner, and must go far 
beyond suspicion or surmise, or even probability, unless 
the probability is such as to amount to a practical 
certainty ; and, when a jury is considering circumstantial 



evidence, they must always bear these considerations in 
mind, and must not be led by any extraneous considera- 
tion to act upon what cannot be regarded as — well, I 
cannot say mere suspicion — but cannot be regarded as 
establishing beyond peradventure, beyond all reasonable 
doubt, the guilt of the accused man. 

You have heard at very considerable length the evidence 
in this case, and you have had very forcible speeches 
from counsel on both sides, and they have put before you 
in very great detail their view of the evidence in the case. I 
am not saying that either of these speeches have been, 
or any of these speeches have been, given at undue length, 
but the considerations have been very fully laid before 
you. You are the judges of the facts ; I am not the judge 
of the facts at all. But it is regular and usual, especially in 
these cases, for the judge to make some survey of the 
evidence which has been laid before the jury in the case, 
because that may help the jury, although they are the 
judges of fact. Of course, you will remember that you have 
heard the evidence, and you are the judges of the evidence, 
and if I omit or over-stress any matter contrary to your 
view, it is your view which is the dominant view in this 

Now, when one comes to consider the evidence here on 
the question of motive, I do not think I can say anything 
at all. All the evidence is that the prisoner and his wife, to 
all appearances, were living together in happiness and in 
amity. You have heard the evidence. There was no 
pecuniary inducement that one can see for the prisoner to 
desire the death of his wife : she had a small insurance 
policy on her life, a matter of £ 20 ^ and she had something 
£ 9 ^ hi the Savings Bank. But there is no reason to 
think that he wanted that £ 20 ^ for, if he did want it, he 
could have got it, because he had a bank balance of his 
own. There was nothing that he could gain, so far as one 



can see, by her death. It can also be pointed out that there 
is no one else, as far as can be seen, who had anything to 
gain by her death if you exclude the hypothesis of the 
unknown robber, who, it is suggested (and it is a suggestion 
you will have to consider very carefully), may have com- 
mitted this crime. As I said before, it is not a question of 
determining who or what sort of person other than the 
prisoner did the crime or could have done the crime ; it is 
a question whether it is brought home to the prisoner, and 
whether it is brought home to him by the evidence with 
such certainty as is required in a case of this sort. As far 
as the question of motive is concerned, you will form your 
own view about it, but of course as far as the prisoner is 
concerned there is no apparent motive. 

Now, that being so, let us see what are the relevant facts, 
or rather what is the main line of evidence about those 
facts, starting, first of all, with the day before, the 19th 
January, and the telephone call. What is the position about 
that ? It is said, and said with a great deal of force, that if 
you were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was the 
prisoner who sent the telephone call, a bogus call, in order 
to establish a faked alibi, then you might feel that you had 
some ground upon which to proceed to help you in 
deciding whether he did the actual murder. The evidence 
throughout this case, from beginning to end, is purely 
circumstantial. There is the call-box without a light at 
seven o’clock on a January night. No doubt there are 
street-lamps round, and it is four hundred yards from the 
prisoner’s house, and about half an hour — I do not know 
that the time is very clearly fixed, but somewhere about 
half an hour — ^from the Chess Club at the City Cafe ; and 
there are other telephone boxes in the library, or shops in 
the neighbourhood, possibly nearer. We know that there 
was some difficulty in getting the message through, who- 
ever went to the kiosk, but we know that it got through at 




twenty minutes past seven. That seems to be a quite 
definite time, because the lady supervisor has produced an 
official note which they keep when there is a difficulty of 
getting a reply. So we get 7.20 as fixing that time, and no 
doubt some little time before whoever rang up, must have 
been at the kiosk ; I do not know how long it is said — 
three or four minutes, I understand. Then there was the 
message sent on the telephone to the Chess Club. Now, 
whoever sent that message, of course, must have known a 
good deal about the prisoner’s habits. It was said at one 
stage that no one could have known that he was going to 
the club that night. It may be that nobody could have 
known with certainty, but we know now that a notice 
appeared fixing the time at which members of the club 
will play, and that on this notice it appeared that the pris- 
oner would be playing that night. So it is not a case in 
which the knowledge of the prisoner being at that club 
can be said with absolute certainty to be limited to him. 
If there had been no probability of his going to the club 
that night at about that time, it might well be that there 
would be a very strong presumption that it was the pris- 
oner who went there. But it seems to me, although it is 
entirely a matter for you, that there must be on the 
evidence some possibility that someone else knew of the 
prisoner’s possible movements, prospective movements, 
with sufficient confidence to take some action upon them. 
It is said by the Prosecution that it is difficult to conceive 
anybody doing such a thing. Various improbabilities are 
pointed out : How would they know when the prisoner 
was going to the caf6 ; how would they know that he had 
been to the cafe ; why did they not ring up again ? and 
all those sorts of things. Of course, if there were some other 
outside criminal planning, with ingenious cunning, the pur- 
pose which he carried out to the last, for a motive which 
no one can understand and apparently is undiscoverable, 



it might be material for consideration ; but you have 
got to ask yourselves : What is the reasonably certain 
evidence substantially excluding other possibilities to such 
an extent that you can find the fact established to your 
reasonable satisfaction that it was the prisoner who rang 
up that night ? I am not going through all the arguments, 
which no doubt you will fully consider, but one has to 
remember that there is some evidence as to the voice. 
You may form whatever view you think fit about that 
evidence, but you must consider it. The cafe waitress and 
the telephone operator said the voice to them sounded like 
an ordinary voice. Mr. Beattie, who had known the 
prisoner for a great many years, said it was a strong, gruff, 
confident voice, and when he was asked, did it appear to 
in any way to resemble the prisoner’s voice — I forget his 
exact language, but he said it did not, and by no stretch 
of imagination could he associate the voice he heard with 
the prisoner. Of course, in such a case, if it was the prisoner 
he might use a disguised voice ; still, even done on the tele- 
phone in a disguised voice, in a conversation so prolonged 
as that such as was deposed to in the evidence, it is very 
difficult to imagine that a man like Mr. Beattie would not, 
even under the disguise, have recognised the prisoner’s 
voice if it was the prisoner’s. That is a thing that you will, 
as I say, have to consider. There is the circumstantial 
evidence, and you will have to consider how far that 
satisfied your mind, having considered the other probabili- 
ties. Before I leave this aspect of the case, let me say a word 
about the conversation a day or two afterwards between 
the prisoner and Mr. Beattie when they met in the eve- 
ning, and the prisoner asked Mr. Beattie to be as definite 
as he could about the time when the telephone message 
was sent. It is said that was the mark of an uneasy con- 
science, and that point has been somewhat stressed. Well, 
it may be ; but, on the other hand, if the prisoner was then 



already feeling that he was the subject of suspicion, he 
might perfectly well have made these enquiries simply to 
impress upon Mr. Beattie the importance of being 
accurate if any question should arise. It would, one 
imagines, be very dangerous to draw any inference 
adverse, seriously adverse to the prisoner from that 
conversation. However, so much for that. Bear in mind, 
as you no doubt will, the various considerations and the 
difficulties which attach to the question of the telephone 

One may now go to the night of the tragedy. You have 
heard some description of the crime so far as it can be 
reconstructed. It was a crime which involved apparently 
(and here we are going rather into the region of specula- 
tion) this woman going into the sitting-room and no doubt 
turning on the light and lighting the stove. It must, no 
doubt, be coupled with the fact that they generally lived 
in the kitchen, but on occasion they went into the sitting- 
room when they wanted to have some music, and, on 
occasion, when visitors came, Mrs. Wallace would take 
the visitors into the sitting-room and light the fire. There 
are two theories, at least there were, perhaps, once, as to 
how she was struck. One was, that she was seated in that 
armchair, you remember, by the fireplace, and was struck 
down with a blow, and then, when she fell on the ground, 
the remaining ten blows were administered. That would 
mean that the assailant came to her and attacked her in 
front. Of course, on that view, I do not know that I ought 
to say it is not possible, but it is very difficult to think that 
the assailant was her husband, wearing a mackintosh. It 
is possible, of course, but, if he was not going out there 
and then, one asks why did he put on the mackintosh, 
why did she light the fire ; and if she lighted the fire under 
the impression that he W2ts not going out and they were 
going to have some music, why should he be wearing his 



mackintosh? Then the next probability in the tragedy is, 
that she was struck down when stooping over the fire, it 
may be just when she had lighted it, and that would 
account for the burning of the skirt and the burning of the 
mackintosh. If the mackintosh was burned by accident in 
that way — it is possible you have doubts about it, but I 
find it very difficult to see how it could have been worn 
by the murderer, unless he over-balanced and fell over the 
murdered woman. But I do not want to pursue the matter 
too far. The other view about the mackintosh is that Mrs. 
Wallace herself had it somewhere loose about her prob- 
ably when the blow was struck, and that it fell on the fire, 
just as the skirt came against the fire as the woman fell ; 
and it does appear as if whoever was doing the act had 
picked up the mackintosh and put out the burning part, 
because ashes were found upon the hearth-rug. If that 
were so, then it must almost certainly have been taken 
oflT, and must, after the woman had fallen down, have 
been pushed under the right shoulder, according to the 
description which is given by Mrs. Johnston and by 
Professor MacFall. The mackintosh in that way may or 
may not be significant. Mrs. Johnston said that when she 
saw it, she thought to herself, “ Dear me, she must have 
thrown it over her shoulders ” ; but whether she had any 
reason to think so is not clear. The prisoner, as far as I can 
follow, never disowned the mackintosh ; he drew Mrs. 
Johnston’s attention to the mackintosh, and said it was 
his own ; he mentioned it to Police Constable Williams, 
and said it was his mackintosh ; and then he mentioned it 
to Superintendent Moore, who said he did it in a way 
which showed that he had some doubt whether it was his 
or not. One must be careful not to pay too much attention 
to these things. He had been, on that night, interviewed, 
and, when reference is made to discrepancies in his state- 
ment, I cannot help thinking it is wonderful how his 



statements are as lucid and consistent as they have been. I 
will refer to this later, but you will remember that he made 
a long statement that night, between twelve and one, and 
at other places at different times ; he gave an account to 
Williams, the police constable, a very long account to 
Superintendent Moore, and other statements. I have read 
them through very carefully, and it appears to me that it 
is very striking that they are as accurate as they are, and 
as consistent as they are. No doubt discrepancies can be 
pointed out, and you will form your own view as to what 
importance you will attach to those discrepancies. Now to 
go back to a point on that act in the room. Whoever did 
the crime, the evidence seems conclusive, must have been 
very seriously splashed with blood. There was a very bad 
wound, and one of the arteries had been severed, and it is 
quite obvious from that picture, and also from the photos, 
that there must have been a great deal of blood-splashes 
about it. How in the world was it possible that the 
murderer, whoever he was, left no trace behind ? 

With regard to the little blob on the pan, I think that 
may be disregarded. No one knows how it got there, and it 
is difficult to see how it has any connection with the 
murder, unless the murderer stayed in the house for about 
an hour after the deed was committed, and in that way, in 
some operation, the clot of blood fell from him, because 
you have heard the evidence of the two very distinguished 
scientists who were called for the Defence yesterday, and 
they said that coagulation could scarcely come in less than 
an hour after the blood was shed ; and if I rightly appreci- 
ated Professor MacFaU’s evidence he took the same view, 
although I may be mistaken. Anyhow, you will probably 
think that that clot of blood when it fell must have been 
of something like an hour’s standing. It is a matter for 
you, and you have the evidence both ways, including that 
of Mr. Roberts. If you take that view, then it can only be 



connected with the crime if the murderer was in the bath- 
room an hour after the murder was committed ; otherwise 
it is immaterial, so I pass that by. 

With regard to the smear on those notes which were 
in the jar in the middle bedroom, I frankly confess that I 
cannot understand what inference is to be drawn from 
that. You have heard the evidence about it, and if you can 
draw any inference from it you will do so. I may say some- 
thing about it later in the case. It is quite obvious that 
that smear on the note was not a thumb-mark. It may be, 
and of course it is said, that that is all part of a faked 
scheme. No doubt you will consider that. If you were 
satisfied that there was a deliberately faked scheme, that 
would be circumstantial evidence which you would have 
to consider carefully against the prisoner. But looking 
at these notes, whoever did the murder must have anyhow 
cleaned some part of himself ; he must have got away with 
the weapon ; he must have got out of the house if he was 
not the prisoner ; and he must have had something else 
to do, because, however well he knew the house, he must 
have had somewhat elaborate arrangements to make 
before he could slip out. 

Now, what time had the prisoner available, if he was 
the murderer ? — because that is the most vital part of the 
case. If you think, on the evidence as to time, that the 
times are so short as either to make it impossible that the 
prisoner should have done this act, or anyhow to make it 
very improbable, then that would be a very strong element 
in your conclusion on the real question in the case. As I 
say, and I need not remind you again, it is for the Prose- 
cution to prove facts which are only consistent, according 
to all reasonable methods of judging, with the guilt of the 
prisoner ; and if you find on a crucial point like this that 
the element of time is so restricted and so narrow as to 
make it very improbable, even if not impossible, for the 



prisoner to have done what it is said he did, then that 
would assist you in coming to a conclusion as to his guilt 
or otherwise. The times here are not very precise, but 
there is one time which I think is precise, subject to the 
clock being right, and that is the time at which the 
prisoner boarded the tram and arrived on the tram at 
Lodge Lane. Nobody noticed when he got on the tram 
at St. Margaret’s Church, but at six minutes past seven 
he was on the tram at Lodge Lane. How long did it take 
him to get there ? Various experiments have been made, 
and they vary from sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen 
minutes, to one of twenty minutes, I think. I will not turn 
up to look, but I think they are approximately right, 
according to my recollection. There were these various 
experiments made. There was one of fifteen minutes, and 
one of eighteen minutes, by Fothergill, then another 
constable took eighteen minutes, and then there is one of 
seventeen minutes and one of twenty minutes. So you may 
take it that somewhere about that time he was in that 
neighbourhood. The prisoner says he left the house at a 
quarter to seven, and according to those figures he must 
have left somewhere between a quarter and ten minutes 
to seven. Six minutes past seven, if you allow twenty 
minutes, would make it practically a quarter to seven if 
you allow eighteen minutes and so on. The fact that you 
can fix the time of his being at Lodge Lane enables you 
to fix, with a certain amount of certainty, when he must 
have been at the house. What about the other side of the 
matter ? The case for the Prosecution was entirely based 
on the evidence of the boy Close, a very intelligent boy, 
and apparently a perfectly honest witness, but on the basis 
of that evidence it was obvious that the time was clearly 
what I may call a reconstructed time. His time of depar- 
ture was 6.25, as he says, on his way from the shop with 
his cans ; he looked at the clock. But you will remember 



that it is only by a method of calculation that he knows 
when he got to the prisoner’s house in Wolverton Street. 
You will remember what he had to do ; I am not going 
through it again ; it seems a complicated operation. He 
had to walk five hundred yards, and go through these 
various operations in the course of doing so. Mrs. Wallace 
did not come out when he first got there, but he saw her 
when he came back and picked up the can, because she 
said something to him about his hurrying home as he had 
a cough. That must have been a minute or two more, 
and it could scarcely have been any less. Then the Defence 
called two witnesses : one was the newspaper man Jones, 
who says that he left the newspaper at the house by 
dropping it into the letter-box somewhere about half 
past six. He is not very precise as to the time, but the 
newspaper was afterwards found in the house by the 
police, so it must have been collected. Then there is the 
boy Wildman, who says he was delivering newspapers 
next door and saw the boy Close, and he puts that time at 
something like 6.37. I must say I do not agree with any 
attacks that were made upon the police in the conduct of 
this case. I think they have done their duty with great 
enthusiasm and ability, but I cannot help thinking that 
they were guilty of an error of judgment in not calling the 
two witnesses Jones and Wildman in the course of the 
Prosecution. It is true that Jones’s time may be a little 
uncertain, and Wildman, although he had mentioned it to 
his mother next day, had already associated, although I 
do not think that ought to affect the position, with the 
solicitor for the Defence. But that rather indicates in a case 
of this sort, where the ascertainment of the time within 
as narrow a limit as possible is so important, that they 
are witnesses who I think ought to have been put before 
the jury in the case by the Prosecution. The case for the 
Prosecution, as it sood, depended entirely on the evidence 



of the boy Close. If you think that the time was something 
like 6.35, then deducting 6.35 from even 6.50, or, still less, 
6.47, you get a very narrow limit of time for the prisoner, 
if it were the prisoner who did this, to do all that he must 
have done. I need not deal with that any further, because 
the considerations, I am sure, are fully present to your 
minds too, in weighing the probabilities of this case and 
the possibilities of this case. I have pointed out the diffi- 
culties, and you may think the uncertainties, connected 
with the telephone call. 

When you come to the next stage, the actual execution 
of the murder, you will have to consider very carefully 
whether the narrow limits of time allowed, possibly of 
not more than ten minutes, would be sufficient for the 
prisoner, if he were so minded, to carry out his purpose. 
You are only considering whether the charge is made out 
against the prisoner to your reasonable satisfaction ; that 
is all you are considering. It is perefctly true that if he 
planned and executed this scheme he would have had 
everything ready and everything would have gone, in 
the way of execution, with the utmost precision and 
rapidity. But there was a lot to do, you must consider ; 
and twenty minutes afterwards he was found, at six 
minutes past seven, apparently completely dressed and 
apparently without any signs of discomposure, on a tram- 
car twenty Iminutes’ journey from his home : therefore 
he must have worked with lightning rapidity and effect- 
iveness. It does not follow that he did not do it, but you 
have to be satisfied that he did do it. There is that point, 
and I need not discuss any more that aspect of the case. 
As I say, you are the judges of fact and you have heard all 
the evidence, and I am not pretending to make an exhaus- 
tive examination of it, although I hope an accurate one. 

Then you come to the next element in the case, and 
that is the question of what the prisoner did, according 



to his own account and that of others, in the interval of 
time from leaving the house to his getting back. But 
before I come to that part of the case I think I ought to 
say something about the medical evidence as to the time 
of the death. That medical evidence, you may think (it 
is purely a matter for you), does not really afford you any 
guide or any assistance in determining when this woman 
met her death. Professor MacFall gave a time, and his 
view was, if I followed it, that the murder must have taken 
place before six, because it was put to him, according to 
my recollection, that if the murder took place at or about 
half past six then his opinion, derived from the rigor 
mortis^ must be wrong, and he said it must be. He, how- 
ever, gave a wide margin ; and a still wider margin was 
given by Dr. Pierce, as I understand his evidence. He 
could not say from his observations of the rigor mortis ; 
although he put the death probably in the neighbourhood 
of six, he said it might have been as early as four, or it 
might have been as late as eight. Then Professor Dible, 
not having seen the body, but acting on his reading of the 
evidence of Professor MacFall and Professor MacFalPs 
observations, estimated that death must have taken place 
something under three hours before ten or ten minutes to 
ten, or rather over four hours ; that is the margin he 
gave. With these conflicting views, you may well think 
that you can derive no help from this medical evidence. 
Then again, the question of exudation of serum seems to 
be even more obscure. As I followed Professor Bible’s 
evidence and Dr. Coope’s evidence, especially Professor 
Bible’s evidence, he would have expected a greater 
exudation of serum than was observed by Professor 
MacFall at ten o’clock if the death had taken place before 
seven. You may think that is evidence from which you 
derive no assistance in considering that aspect of it, and 
you must act upon other considerations. It may be, as far 



as independent evidence goes, that you have nothing 
which would enable you to fix the time of the death on 
that evening. Indeed, the evidence is quite consistent 
with some unknown criminal, for some unknown motive, 
having got into the house and executed the murder and 
gone away. So far as weapons are concerned, the Prose- 
cution have called Mrs. Draper, who has said two things 
were missing, one is an iron bar, which apparently the 
Prosecution think is more likely to have been used, and 
the other is a poker, which it may be would have fulfilled 
the purpose with equal adequacy. However, there are 
these two things missing from the house. But Mrs. Draper 
was only there last on the 7th January, and you must 
consider whether that evidence affords you any clue from 
which you can infer that the prisoner used one or other of 
those weapons. But they are both missing, and he cannot 
have used both those. If he used the iron bar, or the poker, 
then the question arises how he got rid of it — not got rid 
of it in one sense — but got rid of it within the limits of time 
which were open to him, because he must have gone very 
quickly to the tram, very quickly indeed ; indeed, it 
has been pointed out by the Prosecution that he cannot 
have lost any time. There is no place, apparently, where 
he could have dropped it on his way ; the only possible 
place, the open space between the house and the tram, 
has been combed, and the drains searched, and no trace 
can be found of it. How the weapon was disposed of is a 
mystery. One would have thought that, if he was carrying 
it, the conductor of the tram-car would have noticed him, 
if he was carrying an iron bar or a poker, and he did not. 
I do not say it is impossible for a murderer under those 
circumstances to have disposed of a weapon like that, but 
when you are considering whether it is brought home to 
the prisoner you must carefully consider all these aspects 
of the case. 



Then the next matter has reference to the various things 
which he did on that expedition between ten minutes to 
seven or a little earlier, and the time when he got back at 
8.45. He gave an account at once to the various police 
officers of what he did do ; he gave an account that night, 
and that, I gather, enabled the police to trace the various 
witnesses who were important. He went to Menlove 
Avenue, as he has stated in the box, and his statements 
were corroborated by the various witnesses who have been 
called. The learned Recorder pointed out, and pointed 
out with considerable force, that it was very foolish for 
him to go on like that, that he might have taken steps 
through his friends to see whether there was a Mr. Qual- 
trough, or to see whether there was a 25 Menlove Gardens 
East, and when he got there, and everybody told him 
there was no such place as 25 Menlove Gardens East, it 
was very foolish of him to go on making enquiries, and 
he ought to have gone home at once and given it up as a 
bad job. There was a great deal of force in that ; and the 
learned Recorder pointed out, that if this was an alibi two 
things would be natural : first, that he should speak to his 
friends, as many as possible, and in such a way as would 
impress upon them that he was there at that time ; and 
that he should tell the police as soon as the crime was dis- 
covered what he had been doing so that they could help 
him to establish his alibi. Of course, that is a possible view, 
and you have to consider that. But it is one aspect of the 
case, and there is another view. If the prisoner had not 
committed the crime, and had not sent the telephone 
message ; if he was going quite honestly to search for Mr. 
Qualtrough in Menlove Gardens East in the hope of 
getting a useful commission — as it is a lucrative business, 
new insurance — then no doubt, having gone so far and 
having told his wife, as he says he did, all about it he 
would anyhow not have gone home but have probed the 



matter to the bottom. It may be that he was very foolish, 
but on the other hand it is very difficult to say that his 
doing so points to his having committed this crime. 
Again, it is a matter of circumstantial evidence, and you 
have to take it all into account, but it is no use applying 
tests to evidence if none of them excludes really the pos- 
sibility of the innocence of the prisoner. If every matter 
relied on as circumstantial is equally or substantially con- 
sistent both with the guilt or innocence of the prisoner, 
the multiplication of those instances may not take you any 
further in coming to a conclusion of guilt. However, it is 
a matter for you as to what inference you can draw, either 
adverse or favourable to the prisoner, from his account 
and the other evidence as to what he did in this limit of 

Then you come back to Wolverton Street, and there is 
the evidence of Miss Lily Hall, no doubt saying what she 
thinks she saw. She thinks she saw the prisoner at 8.35, 
and you have heard from the Prosecution what import- 
ance, such as it is, they attach to that. The prisoner says 
he was not there, and it is word against word. It was night, 
and there is no special reason, apparently, why Miss Hall 
should have made all these observations, or even with 
regard to the time that she should be accurate. Therefore 
I put that aside, and you will give such weight to it as you 
think right. Then we come to 8.45, when he came to the 
house. There again the Prosecution says it is all a fake ; 
it is all part of his preconceived scheme, just as he sent the 
telephone message, just as he sought to fake his alibi, just 
as he sought to fake the disorder and robbery in the house 
— I am not going again through that, because you re- 
member what it was — and so he faked the discovery of the 
crime, and they rely on that and the whole story. There 
again, you will have to consider whether that helps you 
or does not help you to come to a conclusion as to whether 



you can form any firm basis of decision on those facts. 
If he is perfectly innocent, he had been wandering about 
searching for this person, and if he came back disap- 
pointed, and then found the door of the house did not 
open as readily as he expected, it may well be he would lose 
his head to a certain extent, and not act with that delibera- 
tion with which criminals are expected to act when their 
proceedings are countered. As to whether the front door 
was locked, you will remember the evidence, but it seems 
to me to stand in this way : He said, that night, to Police 
Constable Williams, and in his evidence here, that the 
front door was bolted. He did not mention it to Superin- 
tendent Moore, who asked him if the back door was open, 
and he said it was not ; he did not ask him about the front 
door. You will remember Police Constable Williams’s 
account : he says the prisoner said the door was bolted, 
and he had to unbolt it to let him, Williams, in ; and 
Constable Williams said he did not hear any bolt drawn. 
That is all he can say ; and Mrs. Johnston, who was with 
them, did not notice one way or the other. So you have 
the statement of the prisoner that at the time the door was 
bolted. He said, that evening, he thought there was some- 
one in the house, but it was only a conjecture that there 
was someone in the house when he first went, and he now 
thinks that was wrong. Of course, if the door was bolted, 
that would account for his not getting in at the front door, 
and the question of the lock would not be material. On 
the other hand, if the lock was there with no bolt, then he 
ought to have opened it. You will have to consider what 
importance you can attach to the condition of this some- 
what defective lock. Of course, if he was in the state I have 
indicated because he had been on a wild-goose chase, 
and could not get in at once, that might account for some 
difficulty ; but on the other hand the Prosecution say that 
it was nothing of the sort : he knew what he was doing, 



and he was feigning a difficulty which did not exist. 
There again you have to make up your minds about it. 
It is not at all impossible that, under those circumstances, 
in that state of mind, he might have been so upset at the 
moment as to have had a difficulty in overcoming the 
friction of the two locks. When he got in, various criti- 
cisms have been made as to what he did : he went through 
the kitchen and found no one there, and then he went up- 
stairs ; then he did not go to the sitting-room until after 
he had been upstairs. It is not very easy to see what signi- 
ficance can be attached to that, or indeed to the fact that 
he lighted the right-hand jet instead of the left-hand jet. 
His evidence is that they rather favoured the right-hand 
jet ; and it is difficult to see that any idea can be obtained 
of his guilt from the mere fact that he did not step on the 
body or step in the blood. There appears to have been 
enough light to see a body lying there, and probably there 
appeared to have been enough room for him to step round 
the body and avoid the blood. He was going about all the 
time ; and I have not heard that any one of these police 
officers or doctors did actually step in the blood, and if 
they did not I do not see why he should. Then you come 
to those various things, and I do not want to say any more 
about them, as I have examined the evidence in that way, 
and I do not intend to detain you any longer. 

In conclusion, I will only remind you what the ques- 
tion you have to determine is. The question is. Can you 
have any doubt that the prisoner did do it ? You may 
think : “ Well, someone did it.” Human nature is very 
strange. You may have a man send a bogus message, and 
having sent the bogus message, even if he did not see the 
prisoner actually leave the house, he might go to the house, 
ring the bell or knock at the door, and be admitted 
by Mrs. Wallace. If she had been told, as the prisoner 
said, that the prisoner was seeking an interview with 



Qualtrough, and if he was admitted, he would soon find 
out where the prisoner was, and find out that he was not 
in the house : on the other hand, if he found he was in the 
house he could go away. It makes it difficult to conceive 
what motive there might have been, if it is difficult to 
conceive there was such a person who could devise all 
these things. Then there is the difficulty of motive from 
the point of view of the prisoner ; and if it is difficult to see 
how the man could have got away leaving no trace, it is 
equally difficult with regard to the prisoner. However you 
regard the matter, the whole crime was so skilfully de- 
vised and so skilfully executed, and there is such an ab- 
sence of any trace to incriminate anybody, as to make it 
very difficult to say, although it is a matter entirely for 
you, that it can be brought home to anybody in particular. 
If there was an unknown murderer, he has covered up his 
traces. Can you say it is absolutely impossible that there 
was no such person ? But putting that aside as not being 
the real question, can you say, taking all this evidence as 
a whole, bearing in mind the strength of the case put for- 
ward by the police and by the Prosecution, that you are 
satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was the hand of 
the prisoner, and no other hand that murdered this 
woman ? If you are not so satisfied, if it is not proved, 
whatever your feelings may be, whatever your surmises or 
suspicions or prejudices may be, if it is not established to 
your reasonable satisfaction as a matter of evidence, as a 
matter of fact, of legal evidence and legal proof, then it is 
your duty to find the prisoner not guilty. Of course, if 
you are satisfied, equally it is your duty to find him 
guilty. But it is your duty to decide on the evidence which 
has been given before you during these three days, and, 
whatever your verdict is, that is the acid test which you 
must apply. Will you consider your verdict and say 
whether you find the prisoner guilty or not guilty? 

Tw 289 


The jury, after an hour’s retirement, returned into 

The Clerk of Assize — Gentlemen of the jury, are you 
agreed upon your verdict ? 

The Foreman of the Jury— We are. 

The Clerk of Assize — Do you find the prisoner guilty, 
or not guilty of murder ? 

The Foreman of the Jury — Guilty. 

The Clerk of Assize — You say he is guilty, and that 
is the verdict of you all ? 

The Foreman of the Jury — It is. 

The Clerk of Assize — Prisoner at the Bar, you have 
been arraigned upon a charge of murder, and have placed 
yourself upon your country. That country has now found 
you guilty. Have you anything to say why judgment of 
death should not be pronounced upon you, and why 
you should not die according to law ? 

The Prisoner — I am not guilty. I don’t want to say 
anything else. 


Mr. Justice Wright — ^William Herbert Wallace, the 
jury, after a very careful hearing, have found you guilty 
of the murder of your wife. For the crime of murder by 
the law of this country there is only one sentence, and that 
sentence I now pass upon you. It is that you be taken 
from hence to a place of lawful execution, and you be 
there hanged by the neck until you be dead, and that your 
body be afterwards buried within the precincts of the 
prison in which you shall last have been confined. And 
may the Lord have mercy on your soul. 




The appeal of William Herbert Wallace against his 
conviction and sentence was heard on the i8th and 19th 
of May, 1931, before the Lord Chief Justice (Lord 
Hewart), Mr. Justice Branson, and Mr. Justice Hawke. 

The Lord Chief Justice delivered the judgment of 
the Court as follows : 

The appellant William Herbert Wallace was charged 
at the Assizes in Liverpool with the murder of his wife on 
January 20th. In the result he was convicted, and on 
April 25th last he was sentenced to death. He now appeals 
against that conviction. Three facts are obvious. The first 
is that at the conclusion of the case for the Crown no 
submission was made on behalf of the appellant that there 
was no case to go to the jury. The second fact which seems 
to be obvious is, that the evidence was summed up by the 
learned judge with complete fairness and accuracy, and 
it would not have been at all surprising if the result had 
been an acquittal of the prisoner. The third obvious fact 
is that the case is eminently one of difficulty and doubt. 

Now, the whole of the material evidence has been 
closely and critically examined before us, and it does not 
appear to me to be necessary to discuss it again. Suffice 
it to say, that we are not concerned here with suspicion, 
however grave, or with theories, however ingenious. Sec- 
tion 4 of the Criminal Appeal Act of 1907 provides that 
the Court of Criminal Appeal shall allow the appeal if 
they think that the verdict of the jury should be set aside 
on the ground that it cannot be supported having regard 
to the evidence. 



The conclusion at which we have arrived is, that the 
case against the appellant, which we have carefully and 
anxiously considered and discussed, was not proved with 
that certainty which is necessary in order to justify a 
verdict of guilty, and, therefore, it is our duty to take the 
course indicated by the section of the Statute to which I 
have referred. The result is that this appeal will be allowed 
and the conviction quashed. 




Since the Court of Criminal Appeal was established, 
the case of Wallace is the only one in which the Court 
has quashed a conviction on the ground that the verdict 
at the trial could not be supported by the evidence. 
Wallace was found guilty by a jury of his own country, 
and sentenced to death. After the trial, and until the 
moment when he heard that his appeal had been allowed, 
he suffered all the experiences of a condemned murderer. 
In the ordinary course of the procedure in such cases he 
was informed by the Governor of the prison of the date 
that had been officially fixed for his execution. A period 
of over three weeks elapsed between the day when he was 
sentenced to death and the day of his appeal. His refer- 
ences to the trial, the appeal, and his life in prison are 
contained in his diary, and in the story of his life which 
he wrote some months after he recovered his freedom. 

Wallace was neither an artist nor a man of letters. He 
possessed, however, a power of lucid and accurate, and, 
even, at times, picturesque expression much above that 
of the average man. His scientific training, influencing a 
mind naturally introspective and observant, enabled him 
to note with precision and discrimination the most interest- 
ing and significant features of his daily life, and perilous 

The following passages from his diary and other 
writings have been selected either for their personal 



interest, or for their relevance to his unique experience. 
It must be said that they are not complete in themselves, 
but have been taken from the context, which in most 
cases refers to other subjects of general interest. 

A. The following passages are from Wallace’s *<Life 
Story ” 

I was born in the year 1878. We lived in the Lakeland 
district, and my early days were spent in that glorious 
country of mountain, lake, and fell. What dreamed I — a 
happy innocent child — of all the horrors which were to 
meet me forty years further down the road of life ? 

At fourteen years of age I was apprenticed, for five 
years, to the drapery trade. After several assistantships in 
various towns, the Wanderlust which had obsessed me in 
earlier years grew to fever heat, and at the age of twenty- 
three I sailed for India, to take a position as salesman in 
Calcutta. . . . 

Sentenced to death for a third time by a council of 
doctors, I had to leave India, and seek the milder climate 
of China. In Shanghai I worked as an advertising man- 
ager for a general store. My illness, however, reached its 
climax, and I made up my mind to leave China and 
return at once to England. If I had to die, I preferred the 
land of my birth as my final resting-place. I arrived home 
seriously ill, and entered Guy’s Hospital. My weakness 
prevented me from doing any work at all for eighteen 
months, but my financial position becoming somewhat 
precarious, I took a situation in Manchester. During this 
time I had begun to take a keen interest in politics, 
addressing meetings in all parts of the North Lonsdale 
constituency. To my delight, I was eventually appointed 
Liberal Agent for the Ripon Division, West Riding of 
Yorkshire. Here began the happiest years of my life, for 



in Harrogate I met at tliis time my fiiture wife. She was a 
lady of good birth and! social position, whose tastes weia 
very similar to my own. Dark haired, dark eyed, full of 
energy and vivaciousness, she filled in evoy comer of Ac 
picture I had dreamed of “ that one woman in all the 
world ” most men enshrine in their hearts. She was an 
excellent pianist, no mean artist in water-colour, a fiuent 
French Scholar, and of a cultured literary taste. The 
courtship lasted two years and was idyllic. From the first 
moment we met, we found in each other that fiiendship, 
companionship, and love we needed. 

Those were days when all the world and the future 
seemed rose-coloured, sun-lit, and steeped in everlasting 
happiness. Nothing could ever change ! But through this 
Eldorado of a lover’s dreams the wheel of fate was turning, 
turning. . . . 

A blissful year of marriage preceded the outbreak of the 
Great War. We set up house in a quiet neighbourhood of 
Harrogate, little dreaming of the maelstrom that was 
destined to up-root us within a very few months. The war 
crashing into our quiet lives brought politics to the 
ground, and I was once again thrown on my beam ends. 

I was fortunate in securing employment as a district agent 
with the Prudential Assurance Company, and my wife and 
I moved to Liverpool, taking up our residence at 29 
Wolverton Street. 

Here we lived in perfect happiness and harmony for 
sixteen years. Our days and months and years were filled 
with complete enjoyment, placid, perhaps, but with all 
the happiness of quietude and mutual interest and 
affection. Neither of us cared very much for entertaining 
other people or for being entertained ; we were sufficient 
in ourselves. My wife had an artist’s natural love of 
colour ; landscape, seascape, and flowers appealed to her. 
And I looked at all things with the eyes of a naturalist. 



As a young man I had played chess. In Liverpool I 
continued this pastime, and the only times I left my wife 
alone in our little home was to visit the Chess Club at the 
City Cafe, to deliver my lectures at the Technical College, 
or to attend to my insurance business. On all other occa- 
sions my wife was my inseparable companion. 

All these happy, industrious years the wheel of fate was 
turning towards the crowning tragedy of my ill-starred 

B. The following passages are from Wallace’s Diary 

February i^th^ i92g. On the way home with had a 

discussion on religion. I find he is like myself indifferent 
to the dogmas and ritual of the Churches and Chapels, 
and agrees that if there is a hereafter the man without 
any so-called religious beliefs, and a non-church attender, 
but who lives a decent life, and who abstains from telling 
lies, or cheating, or acts of meanness, and who honestly 
tries to do good, has as much chance of getting there as 
the professed Christian who attends his place of worship 

March 20th^ 1929. Listened in to The Master Builder by 
Ibsen. This is a fine thing and shows clearly how a man 
may build up a fine career, and as the world has it, be a 
great success, and yet in his own mind feels that he has 
been an utter failure, and how ghastly a mistake he hcis 
made to sacrifice love, and the deeper comforts of life in 
order to achieve success. Curious that Julia did not 
appreciate this play ! I feel sure she did not grasp the inner 
significance and real meaning of the play. 

September 9th, 1929, ... At four o’clock Julia and I left for 
home, but getting lost we had to return to Settle, so that it 
was five o’clock before we really got away. The roads 
were crowded with cars, and at Chtheroc all cars were 


wRrriNOS OF Wallace 

bang held up for inspccti<Mi of Kcchsol Pmbs*iy the police 
were trying to comb out in order to get some line cm the 
motorist who ran down a police constable on the prcvioiss 
Thursday, leaving him to die in the road* If they get bhu, 
I hope he gets ten years hard labour for hii caBmmm 

October 1930. No one has ever had any knowlec^e of 
a previous existence* If I previously existed as a thinidiig 
organism I probably argued much as I do now, and now 
that I am here, I recognise clearly that immortality mauat 
absolutely nothing to me. Any individuality I possessed 
formerly has gone. So, too, when I pass out of this exist* 
ence, individual immortality is meaningless, unless I am 
able to retain something of my present, and the fact that 
my previous existence is now meaningless argues that the 
next existence has also no meaning for me. So why worry 
about a life hereafter which for me has no meaning. 

November 6tk, 1930 . — The tournaments (chess) are now 
up, and I see I am in class three. This about represents my 
strength of play. I suppose I could play better, but I feel 
it is too much like hard work to go in for chess whole- 
heartedly, hence my lack of practice keeps me in a state 
of mediocrity. Good enough for a nice game, but no good 
for really first class-play. 

C. The following extracts, for the purpote of making the 
story as consecutive as possible, are taken from the 
diary and Wallace’s own story of his life. Passages 
referring to his arrest and the details of the crime 
are omitted as they are included in the account of 
the trial 

At long last the date of the opening of the Assizes 
arrived. It is difficult for me to describe the feelings of an 
innocent man about to be put on trial for his life. There 



can be no position in human experience so terrible. Not 
to be able to convince one’s fellows of the truth is a 
desperate sensation. What does it count if one has been a 
truthful man all one’s life ? No torture of the Inquisition 
could have rivalled this appalling sensation of being 
caught like a rat in a trap. 

The actual day arrived and I was taken to the Court for 
the trial. I hadn’t the slightest idea how an assize trial 
was conducted, and in spite of the ordeal before me I was 
interested to see what it was like. Two warders stood with 
me at the foot of some steps leading to the dock, and 
from this position I could hear the jury being sworn in. 
I could see nothing except the ceiling of the Court, but 
part of the oath administered to each juryman came to my 
ears and fixed itself in my memory. And true deliver- 
ance make before our Sovereign Lord the King.” The 
words “ true deliverance ” rang in my ears with a sooth- 
ing sound. That was what I wanted. The truth — a true 
deliverance out of that hell. . . . And then came the words 
of the Clerk of the Court — ‘‘ Put up Wallace.” 

I was asked if I pleaded guilty or not guilty. Not 
guilty,” I said. I meant to make my reply as emphatic as 
possible. If it were only possible to make the truth sound 
true ! People talk glibly about words ringing true.” But 
do they ? I had determined that nothing should cause me 
to show emotion ; that the vile and unjust charge should 
be met with all the dignity I could command. 

The jury retired, and I was taken down the steps to the 
corridor below the Court. Then began a distressing period 
of nerve strain. As the minutes dragged by, and I was not 
called up, I began to wonder what the jury were discus- 
sing. The fact that they were remaining out of Court for 
so prolonged a period was surely against my interests and 



boded ill for me. My anticipations proved to be all too 
correct. Forty minutes crept slowly on leaden feet and 
then the summons came. Once more I stood within that 
railed dock. 

How can I describe my feelings then ? One idea was 
dominant in my mind — to retain my dignity whatever the 
verdict might be. I could feel emotion no more. Never 
again should I be able to trust my fellow men. This was a 
world of evil into which by some strange chance I had 
wandered. I was a stranger — I did not belong. 

The Court was tense and deathly silent as the Clerk of 
Assize turned to the jury, and asked them if they were 
agreed upon their verdict. A terrible pause — a blank — 
nothingness — in which all the world stood still. 

Guilty ! ” 

If I had any feelings, they were those which one might 
imagine a fly would have, caught in a web and unable to 
break loose. To this moment I do not know what I said. 
I was looking into a blank space. The judge made not the 
slightest comment, but in a slow and rather low voice 
pronounced sentence of death. ‘‘ And may the Lord have 
mercy upon your soul.” The chaplain’s ‘‘ Amen ” came 
to me in the faintest whisper. I had been sentenced to 

I was hustled down the steps and into a cell below where 
my dinner was brought to me. I could not even look at it. 
My whole being was sick with despair. The shadow 
of the gallows was black and very close. In about an hour’s 
time I was rushed back to Walton jail, and this time was 
taken direct to the cell reserved for prisoners condemned 
to death. I was surrounded by officials and compelled to 
change into the grey convict uniform prescribed by law. 
This brought home to me with savage grimness the hope- 
lessness of my position, and for the first time I broke 
down completely and wept. I found I was to be under the 



constant eyes of two officers day and night, who would 
live with me in the cell . . . until a certain morning at 
eight o^clock. During the long night I tossed and turned 
on my bed, but could not sleep. There were the two 
grim sentinels of death — sitting in easy chairs reading. 
The light came from outside the cell through thick glass 
let into slots in the walls. I could not sleep. 

From Saturday when I was sentenced to death until 
mid-day on Monday I lived in a state of extreme nervous 
tension. The most appalling shock of all came when the 
governor visited me and announced that the date for my 
execution had been fixed. From that moment I was 
dazed. It struck me that although one has heard so much 
of “ the law’s delay,” in my case the law had lost no time. 
It seemed as if it was eager and panting for my blood. 

After dinner, half an hour’s walk in some quiet portion 
of the grounds. On this walk there was a long narrow 
garden built up against the wall, and here were planted 
lupins, irises, delphiniums, and other flowers. The irises 
during my last walk there were just about to burst into 
flower, and I used to wonder if I should see them in full 
bloom, and if they would be the last flowers I should ever 
see on this earth. 

A fortnight elapsed, and then I received a notification 
that the date of hearing of my appeal had been fixed for 
May 1 8 th, and that I was to be taken to Pentonville jail. 

May i6th^ ^93^- Left Walton for Pentonville guarded 
by officers. Had to submit to handcuffs which were not 
taken off until I was safely in Pentonville. A taxi took me 
right up the Lime Street platform, and I had only a few 
yards to cross to the reserved carriage with drawn blinds. 
Even so, it had obviously leaked out, as there were a 



number of railway officials and some of the public 
present. Strange how this morbid curiosity draws people, 
who, if they would only reflect, must know it is a torture to 
the person under observation. Going down in the train 
I was very greatly impressed by the green and wonderful 
beauty of the country. I had seen little but high walls and 
iron barred windows for about sixteen weeks, and it was 
sometliing to cheer me, and take my mind off the grim 
horrors of the position. The officers did their best to make 
me comfortable. 

Entering Pentonville was a melancholy ordeal. The 
prison is grim and forbidding, and I felt despondent and 
depressed beyond measure. Here again was that never 
ending jingling of keys — symbols of despair had they 
become. I was searched, and then re-clothed and marched 
off to the condemned cell. I was a prey to the deepest 
dejection. I had litde hope that my appeal would succeed. 
I knew if my appeal was dismissed my chance of a reprieve 
was slight. 

May i 8 th^ 1931 • Day of my appeal. Off to Court at 
10.30. Handcuffed but in my own clothes. At ii a.m. 
I was called to appear, and once again I faced the Court. 
This time my position was undeniably grave. After five 
hours the Court adjourned and I was taken back to 

May 19th, 1931, After the close of counsel’s speeches the 
Lord Chief Justice said their Lordships would retire for 
a short while to consider their decision. I was taken out 
of Court into the corridor behind, and there for about an 
hour I paced to and fro, alternately hopeful and depressed. 
It was a terrible strain. Freedom or death awaited me, 
and I had become insensible to all other considerations. 
Minute after minute passed by and I now began to think 
that the long wait was in my favour, in contrast to the long 
wait at the Assizes when I felt the delay was against me. 




At last their lordships returned and I was again taken 
into the dock. The Court was hushed to an almost un- 
canny silence. No one moved. Not a paper rustled. The 
very breathing of all there seemed suspended. After what 
seemed an eternity of time the Lord Chief Justice began 
to deliver judgment. I could not follow all he said. My 
mind lost all receptiveness, and all I remember is that my 
obsession to betray no emotion was as strong as ever. 
Tensely I waited, oblivious to all but that slow, dreadfully 
slow utterance of the Lord Chief Justice. I could not grasp 
all he said, my brain refused to function. It was as if I 
was suspended in space and detached from everything. 
Slowly, slowly went on the voice, miles away as it were, 
and then I heard the Lord Chief Justice end by saying : 
“ The Court allows the appeal and the conviction of the 
Court below is quashed.’’ 

Was it true or were my ears mocking me ? Immediately 
there began a buzz, and the beginning of a cheer, in- 
stantly suppressed. Then I realised I had won, and that 
I was free. 

June 6thy 1931* My dear Julia is seldom out of my 
thoughts, and now I am on my own I realise the fight I 
am going to have in this battle against loneliness and 
desolation. Julia, Julia, how can I do without you ! The 
anguish in my soul rises up and distils itself in tears which 
not all my resolution can hold back. Little did I ever 
think that grief and sorrow would so utterly unman me, 
and, yet, I must fight it down. Nothing can bring her 
back, nothing can undo the past. Even if he who did that 
foul deed is caught it cannot bring consolation to me. 
The only consolation I can find is in the thought of our 
happy life, and the realisation that she at any rate did 
find a large measure of happiness and content in her life. 

June yth^ 1931. After tea had an enjoyable ramble 
through the park to the woodland. I could not keep my 



mind off Julia, thinking how she would have enjoyed it. 
I am afraid these lovely walks will depress me for some 
time. My heart is in tears as I go along, and all the real 
pleasure of the walk vanishes. If I could only believe in 
existence after death, then I could be more content. If, 
as the spiritualists assert, this is true, then my dear Julia 
will know that she is seldom out of my thoughts. 

June j^th^ ig3i, I think I must definitely abandon the 
idea of returning to a Liverpool agency as the ill-feeling 
against me is evidently stronger then I expected. 

June iSthy 1931 • Find all the neighbours up against 
me. They are the rottenest crowd I ever struck. Mean 
and paltry brained, I feel it a wicked insult to Julia. How 
she would have scorned the whole thing ! 

[The following entry refers to the house in Cheshire in which, 
after leaving Liverpool, Wallace lived until his death. ^ 

June 25th, 1931- My dear Julia would have absolutely 
revelled in this house and garden, and it hurts me to 
realise that this is her long wanted house, and now she is 
not here to enjoy its peace and beauty. A thousand times 
more than ever do I wish she could share it with me. 
What joy she would have had in that lovely garden ! 
What wonderful happiness and content would have been 
hers ! And now all is gone, and if I take this house as I 
feel I must, my happiness and peace in it will ever be 
tinged with sadness and regret at her absence. 

June 28th, 1931- Met old . The pompous old ass 

evidendy did not want to speak to me, and after passing 
the time of day drew in to gaze in a shop window. Shallow 
but common artifice. ... I suppose this feeling against me 
will probably persist for some time and I may never 
really live it down. Well, after all, so long as I know I am 
innocent why should I worry ? 

August 25th, 1931. Quite a fine experience this morning. 
As I was going to catch my train I passed a man, and to 



my great surprise he said — Good morning Mr. Wallace, 

and introduced himself as a Mr. . He had heard of 

my coming to live in Bromborough, and, believing me to 
be an innocent man, desired to be friends. It was a kind 
action for which I am immensely grateful. To know that 
I am not an object of scorn and suspicion to everyone is 
something. And to go about feeling that one is shunned 
by nearly everyone is a terrible ordeal, and though I try 
to fight it down and ignore it, the whole business depresses 
me beyond words. Perhaps, after a while I may get 
immersed in some new hobbies to take my mind off the 
terrible tragedy. What I fear is the long nights. But, 
perhaps, the wireless will help me to overcome the 
desperate loneliness I feel. 

September 8 th^ 1931 • The last few days I have been de- 
pressed thinking of my dear Julia. Pm afraid this will be 
a very lonely winter for me. I seem to miss her more and 
more, and cannot drive the thought of her cruel end out 
of my mind. 

September i^th, 1931^ Just as I was going to dinner 

stopped me, and said he wanted to talk to me for a few 
minutes. It was a desperately awkward position. Eventu- 
ally I decided not to hear what he had to say. I told him 
I would talk to him some day and give him something to 
think about. He must realise that I suspect him of the 
terrible crime. I fear I let him see clearly what I thought, 
and it may unfortunately put him on his guard. I wonder 
if it is any good putting a private detective on to his 
track in the hope of something coming to light. I am more 
than half persuaded to try it. 

October 6 th^ 1931- I cannot disguise from myself that I 
am dreadfully nervous about entering the house after 
dark. I suppose it is because my nerves are all so shattered 
after the ordeal, and this, together with the recurring fits 
of grief and anguish over my dear Julia’s end make me 



horribly depressed and apprehensive. . . . Left to myself 
I am for ever trying to visualise what really did happen. 

Although I am convinced killed her, yet, it is difficult 

to get proof. It would be a great relief if he could only be 
caught, and the foul murder brought home to him. 

November ^93^* Julia is never far out of my 

thoughts. The sadness and sorrow at her absence is still 
very real with me, but I suppose I am now accepting the 
inevitable. Nothing can ever bring her back, and however 
much I want her, or however much I miss her loving 
smiles and aimless chatter, I realise that life is insistent 
and demands first attention. 

March 20thy 1932, There are now several daffodils in 
bloom, and lots of tulips coming along. How delighted 
dear Julia would have been, and I can only too sadly 
picture how lovingly she would have tended the garden. 
To-day I have been very much depressed, full of grief and 
tears. Julia, Julia, my dear, why were you taken from 
me ? Why, why should this have been so ? It is a question 
to which I can get no answer, and I must fight this dread 
feeling of utter loneliness as best I can. Black despair ! 
When shall I be able to find peace ! 

The last entry in the diary was made on April i2th^ ^ 932 , 
and refers to the garden, Wallace died on February 26 th^ ^933- 

D. The following is a selection from articles by Wallace 
which appeared in the Press 

I was free — free of God’s good air like the rest of men, 
instead of languishing in a narrow cell waiting for a 
shameful death. 

Yet it was not the actual thought of death that had 
appalled me. 

It was the dread that I, an innocent man, should pass 
out and only remain in other men’s minds as the author 



of an atrocious crime. I craved to have my good name 
given back to me. 

Restored now to my fellow-creatures and the workaday 
world, I thought, in my simplicity, that they would share 
my joy, would hasten, and never hesitate in the future, to 
congratulate me. 

Alas ! I know now by the bitter experience of the past 
twelve months that the world is more willing to brand 
a man as guilty than to acclaim him as innocent. 

The greatest judges in the land might set me free. But 
in the streets, among my friends and acquaintances, there 
are those who still regard me as a creature to be shunned. 
The revelation fell like a thunderbolt upon me. 

Modem commercial companies and institutions, it is 
said, are soulless. Well, I have had the chance to test the 
assertion — after the recent crisis in my life. I have found it 
is untrue. 

For sixteen years until my arrest I had been a member 
of the staff of the Prudential Assurance Company. An 
organisation like this is essentially a rigorously controlled 
machine, but it is directed too sympathetically and 
humanely for an innocent man to be crushed. 

There was no hesitation on the part of its governors 
regarding the continuation of my engagement with 
the company when my conviction and sentence were 

The machine gave forth charity and understanding at 
the moment when among the men and women around 
me the fount of sympathy had gone dry. The machine 
became my friend when men and women had become 
my enemies. 

My work has been the salvation of my mind, and the 
confidence reposed in me by my employers has inspired 
me with the courage to live and bravely face the future. 



At my desk I become oblivions to the slings and arrows 
of mankind. There I am safe from the malice of evil hearts 
and the venom of evil tongues. 

But the instant I pass from the sanctuary of my office 
into the teeming streets I hear the whispers ; “ Look, 
there’s Wallace. You know . . . the man ...” I can hear 
them before they are spoken. 

With my brain bewildered and in torment I beseeched 
the people round me to say outright why I was now a 
figure for scorn and antagonism — I who had been cleared 
from guilt by the highest judges in the land. 

None could answer or explain. I believe they did not 
know. My hell was to be worse before the truth came to 
me. And from these early hours of revelation I knew that 
the justice that had been done me by the Courts would 
live ever side by side with the injustice of the people 
in the streets. 

Can it be true, I often wonder to myself during my 
lonely evenings, that the sympathy, charity, and pity 
which we are taught are natural attributes to women are 
only a sham, a myth ? 

My own happy domestic life with my dear wife for 
eighteen years — did that mislead me as to the true nature 
of the sex ? 

And are other men similarly misled ? 

These are questions that force themselves on me as the 
result of the bitter lesson I have learned in the past 
twelve months — the lesson that women can become deadly 
enemies of a man, even though he has taken no part in 
their lives. 

Compared with their ferocity, the words of the judge at 
Liverpool who sentenced me to death ring in my ears like 
compassion itself. 

Some of these women were once on the friendliest terms 


with my wife and myself. But that has not prevented them 
from spreading hate and slander against me. 

Indeed, the more friendly they used to be, the worse 
and more wicked has been the manner in which they have 
sought to pile up evil opinion against me. 

The remainder of the time I dwelt in my old home was a 
period during which my nerves were to be racked as they 
never had been since the night when I discovered my wife 
lying lifeless in the sitting-room. 

A walk through the streets of the neighbourhood became 
an Arctic adventure. Everywhere was ice and a devasta- 
ting cold . . . cold faces belonging to cold hearts. 

For twelve months I have been a special target for 
poisoned pens. These anonymous letter-writers may like 
to know that now I never read their communications but 
wrap them in bundles and pass them to my solicitor. 

I am firmly convinced that the writers of some of the 
letters I did read ought to be confined in a mental 

Only a few days ago I learned that unknown tongues 
were spreading a new calumny against me. I am now sup- 
posed to have married again in secret, and my second wife 
is alleged to be hidden in my new and lonely home in 
rural Cheshire. 

No ; there is no woman, mistress, or servant, in this 
house, and has not been since I came to it for asylum. 

Is there a man in the world to-day so near to so many 
people and yet so far away from them as I am ? I doubt it. 

Millions of my fellow-creatures around me, within a few 
miles of my front-door — and yet I might be a castaway on 
an iceberg in the Arctic. 

I suppose that in the past twelve months, apart from 
men I have met in the course of my business, I have not 



spoken a friendly word to more than four people — or had 
a friendly word spoken to me. 

That is what it means to be wrongfully sentenced to 
death and then acquitted. At least, so I have found it. 

The world of my friends and acquaintances has shut up 
like an oyster. 

If it weren’t for my business associates who have stood 
by me splendidly I should hardly have found need to 
speak more than a few hundred words in the whole course 
of the past year. 

You may wonder what a man does alone in a house, 
with such thoughts as mine to haunt him, and no one in 
the wide world outside to whom to turn. 

Well, I have my garden. My wife and I loved flowers. 
I knew from the discussions we had had exactly the sort of 
garden she would have delighted in. 

So when I came to live here I stocked a tool-shed in 
readiness to carry out her wishes. 

I was eager to begin. But it was not so easy. I would 
make up my mind to start gardening one week-end. Then 
something would happen. Some particular former friend 
would administer to me a severe rebuff ; or I would hear 
of some new slander against me ; or I would encounter 
some especially stony glance from an old acquaintance. 

And it would have the effect, for the time being, of 
crushing my enthusiasm to a pulp. I would return home 
dejected and dispirited, and quite unable to turn my hand 
to anything. 

How my wife would have revelled in the boxes of tricks 
with which I have equipped the home ! 

When she was with me her passion for novelty and 
discovery gave me countless hours of joy in explaining, as 
far as I could, the great riddles of the universe, and the 



why and wherefore of the scientific marvels that govern 
our everyday life. 

For many years I have been an investigator and was 
for long a teacher of chemistry. As I passed from practical 
to theoretical science my wife tried hard to keep pace 
with me in the newer problems of physics. 

Always, when I declared that my early theories of 
relativity and what are now called atomic physics were 
not popularly accepted, she insisted that eventually I 
would find them being proved true. 

The hours and hours we spent together examining 
specimens under the microscope. . . . 

I get out my chessboard and chessmen. Chess was one 
of the passions of my life. Liverpool is a great chess- 
playing centre, and I was well known in the circle. 

I have no one to play with me now. But on some 
evenings I get out my board, put the pieces on the squares, 
and settle down to working out difficult problems. 

A minute or two passes. Then I, who in the past have 
matched my brains against some of the greatest players 
in the world, realise that I am not concentrating on the 
board, though I sit staring at it. 

Some shadow seems to rise between me and my beloved 

I suddenly draw back. I know what it is. Chess is mixed 
up now with the terrible drama of my life. 

Even my proficiency in my hobby was used as a weapon 
against me. 

Chess that had been so long my delight and recreation 
became in an instant a menace to my life. 

Can you wonder then, that when I sit alone in the 
evenings with the chessboard in front of me, the shadow 
of the dock, the shadow of the judge in the black cap — ^yes, 
even the shadow of the scaffold itself, rises before my eyes ? 



I push away the chessboard as I have already pushed 
away the microscope. 

Crossing a busy street on the way to the station, I 
encountered a man with whom I had often transacted 
insurance business, and with whom and his family I had 
been for years on terms of real friendship. 

I had not seen him since my release. I was ready for his 
greeting. But he dropped his eyes, and passed by. 

Coming, as it did, at the end of such a trying day, that 
incident set my frayed nerves jangling again. 

When I reached home I sank into my chair more 
dispirited than I had been for a long time. After a while I 
went to my bookshelves, and took down my volume of the 
Meditations of Marcus Aurelius — a book that in the past 
had been my comfort on many occasions when I was out 
of joint with this world. 

To me it is the Golden Book among all books. I have 
been steeped from boyhood in its teachings. 

I craved for it in my condemned cell — more than for 
food. By an unfortunate series of circumstances, it was the 
only book I wanted that I was unable to obtain during 
the month while I lay under sentence of death. 

I hungered day and night for the consolation I should 
find in its pages. When sleep would not come, although 
I was mentally tired out, I used to think how just one 
page of Marcus Aurelius would soothe my mind and bring 
me sleep. 

On this the first anniversary of my death sentence I 
again sought comfort in this old friend. 

I turned the pages ravenously to find my favourite 
passages : 

“ Not to be perplexed or dejected. . . . 

“ Those who offend against one need pity not 
wrath. . . . 


‘‘It should be a man^s task to overcome himself and 
every day to be stronger than himself. . . . 

“ At best suffer patiently if thou canst not suffer 
joyously. . . . 

“ Whatsoever any man either doth or saith, thou must 
be good, not for any man’s sake, but for thine nature’s 
sake. . . 

With the echoes of this passage still in my ears, I sud- 
denly remembered my fiddle. Perhaps with the help of its 
strings I should be able to banish the memories that 
haunted me. 

I had tried a number of times to recapture my interest 
in my violin playing, but always the sight of the violin- 
case brought back to me the horror of one evening. 

It was the only other object I remember seeing when I 
stumbled into the sitting-room of my house in Anfield to 
find my wife battered to death. 

To-night I wondered if the sympathetic voice of the 
violin might close the wounds which this anniversary 
date had reopened. 

My attempt to play was useless. 

I stood by the piano, above which hangs my wife’s 
photograph. I closed my eyes, and, as I have so often 
done, tried to make myself believe she was again occupy- 
ing the piano-seat, and that I could hear her accompani- 
ment beginning. 

I chose a Beethoven sonata. My first chord quivered, 
broke, and was lost. Violin and bow dropped limp in my 

I found myself staring at the photograph over the piano. 

My anniversaries ! Choking, scorching, soul-searing 
dates. . . . 

And they are mine alone among the whole of mankind ! 

It was on April 25th, 1931, that I stood in the dock at 



the Liverpool Assizes and saw the black cap upon the 
head of Mr. Justice Wright. 

When I woke on the morning of April 25th this year, 
almost before my eyes were open, the whole scene in 
detail flashed before me. 

I seemed to see myself standing erect in the dock. I 
was all ready to step out into the street the instant, as I 
expected, the verdict “ Not Guilty ” was given. 

How clearly on this April 25th did I recall it all — the 
grin on the face of the prison officer who led me to the 
dock as he noticed me, hat in hand. And his remark : 

Optimistic, eh ? ” 

It was all so vivid that I really believe I nodded again, 
just as twelve months before I had answered him with a nod ! 

Again I saw myself looking for the exit from the dock 
into the well of the court, and thinking that I would take a 
taxi from the rank outside the building. 

I felt once more the hush that descended on the court 
as the Clerk of Assize rose to ask the foreman of the jury 
for the verdict. 

Amusement has a hollow ring to a man who has stood 
within the shadow of the gallows. 

I have suffered too much to want to see the mimic 
sufferings of others on the stage or screen. 

And I have suffered too much to be able to laugh 
lightheartedly at the things that amuse other people. 

Of one thing I am certain. I shall never be able to bear 
going to one of those concerts of classical music which 
my wife and I used to attend so frequently. 

Our mutual fondness for good music was the keynote 
of our happy married life. We were never more happy 
than when friends dropped in to our musical evenings, and 
we played together the sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven, 
she at the piano and I with the violin. 



My microscope, my chessmen, my violin. . . . All of 
them such dear friends to me in the past, and 2ill of them 
now unable to give me the solace I so crave for during 
my lonely evenings. 

So I fall back on books — ^books that have so often been 
the sole comforters of lonely men like me. 

I hover around my bookcase for five or ten minutes 
sometimes before I settle upon the volume that is to make 
me forget myself for a brief hour or two. 

And not infrequendy it is a detective novel that my 
hand finally alights on. 

What strange creatures we human beings are ! Before 
I was the quarry of detectives myself, I had practically no 
interest in this sort of literature. Rather, I despised it. 

And now I obtain endless fascination by following the 
activities of these fictitious crime investigators, and their 
blunderings before they alight on the right man. 

At the end I put the book down. A very good mystery 
yarn, yes. 

But I am still searching for a murder mystery more 
extraordinary than the one that has broken my life to 

Now let me say this. 

I know the murderer. 

In the porch of the front door of this lonely home of 
mine I have fitted an electric switch and lamp. 

They are not there for the convenience of friendly 
visitors, because I have none but a few of my trusted 
friends. These things have been placed there to safe- 
guard my life. 

Each night when I return home from business in 
Liverpool I am on the alert for attack. The position of the 
switch is known only to myself, and before I open my 
door I touch it so that the house outside and inside, and 



every recess where an assailant may be lurking, are lit up. 

The figure which one day I fully expect to see crouching 
and ready to strike will be that of the man who murdered 
my wife. 

He killed Mrs. Wallace with such savagery that he is 
capable of, and has reason for attempting to remove me 
before I complete the only mission I have left in life — to 
place him in the dock where I stood and in the condemned 
cell I occupied. 

Only now do I know that at the time of the crime he 
was in desperate straits. And I have found that he has been 
convicted for offences involving money. To-day, report 
reaches me that his appearance suggests mental disturb- 
ance and deterioration. 

I have no doubt whatever in my mind that he was the 
man who murdered my poor wife. I think with horror at 
the very thought of the brutality he displayed. 

For, before closing my narrative, let me say that since 
boyhood I have never so much as struck any person. I 
do not believe I could whip a naughty child or punish 
a dog. 

If I had ever had reason to seek the death of my wife I 
could not have used such methods as those by which she 
died. I have been a teacher of science and chemistry, and 
at the time of the tragedy I had at my command, even in 
my house, materials by which with a score of methods her 
end could have been brought about painlessly and with- 
out attracting suspicion. 

If I were to die to-morrow I would have only one wish 
— to see the murderer brought to justice and this terrible 
stigma removed from me. Revenge will not bring my dear 
wife back again, but I shall be satisfied if justice is done. 

I know quite well the adjective that people have applied 
to me ever since my trial. 



They say I am “ callous.’’ It is the favourite word. I 
was callous ” during my trial ; callous ” when I 
received my death sentence ; ‘‘ callous ” in the con- 
demned cell ; “ callous,” even, when I received my 

The word is always on people’s tongues to condemn 
me. I am supposed to be the type of man who would 
commit wife-murder ! 

Fd never have believed this attitude was possible 
among intelligent men and women if I had not suffered 
from it so harshly. 

I always thought that a man showed himself a better 
man if he could face adversity without flinching. 

That’s what I did at my trial. And the result was that, 
instead of giving me credit for fortitude in awful circum- 
stances, people pointed to it as a proof of my guilt !